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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Dutch, English

Where did the English Burch family come from? What is the English Burch family crest and coat of arms? When did the Burch family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Burch family history?

The ancestors of the Burch surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in an area close to a birch tree which is derived from the Old English word Birce, which literally means birch. The family gave their name to the village of Birch in Lancashire.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Burch include Birch, Birche, Burch, Berch and others.

First found in Lancashire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burch research. Another 91 words(6 lines of text) covering the years 1615, 1691, 1645 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Burch History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 59 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Burch family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 61 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Burch Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Willm Burch, aged 19, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Jon Burch, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Thomas Burch, who arrived in Maryland in 1665
  • William Burch, who landed in Maryland in 1674

Burch Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Richard Burch, who landed in Virginia in 1716
  • Carl Lud Burch, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1794
  • Washington Burch, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799

Burch Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Gustavus Burch, aged 24, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • James Burch, aged 20, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1846
  • M S Burch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Matthew Burch, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872


  • William Burch (1900-1950), American professional ice hockey forward
  • Robert L Burch Jr., American politician
  • Edward Burch (b. 1968), American musician and journalist
  • Benjamin Franklin Burch (1825-1893), American farmer, soldier, and politician in what would become Oregon
  • Harry "Billy" Wilfred Burch (1900-1950), American professional ice hockey forward, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974
  • Claire Burch (1925-2009), American author, filmmaker and poet
  • George Edward Burch (1910-1986), American cardiologist
  • John Bayard Burch (b. 1929), American zoologist
  • John Chilton Burch (1826-1885), American politician, California Democratic politician and United States Congressman,Secretary of the United States Senate (1879 to 1881)
  • Laurel Burch (1945-2007), American artist, designer and businesswoman



  • History of the Burch Family of Kentucky by Frank Eugene Toon.
  • Record of the Ancestors and Descendants of Nathan Burch (1781-1858) and Damaris Babcock (1783-1869) of Brookfield, Madison County, New York by Harold John Witter.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Prudentia simplicitate
Motto Translation: Simply prudent.


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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Burch Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burch Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 August 2014 at 10:35.

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