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

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

The ancestors of the Burley surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the fort by the wood having derived from the Old English burhleah.


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 Burley include Burley, Burleigh, Burlie, Burrley, Burrlie, Burrleigh, Burly, Bourley, Bourleigh, Bourly, Berly and many more.

First found in Somerset where Burley Castle where a motte and bailey castle of the late 11th or early 12th century remains to this day. The village and civil parish Burley, or Burley-on-the-Hill, is located two miles north-east of Oakham in Rutland. Burleigh Castle is located near the village of Milnathort, in Perth and Kinross, Scotland and dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. It was held by the Balfours from 1446. Burleigh is also a village in Berkshire, England, within the civil parish of Warfield.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burley research. Another 381 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1275, 1344, 1301, 1305, 1437, 1409, 1336, 1388, 1384, 1388 and 1388 are included under the topic Early Burley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 191 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Burley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 81 words(6 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:

Burley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Timothy Burley, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Rodger Burley settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Rodger Burley, aged 17, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Robt Burley, who arrived in Virginia in 1661
  • James Burley, who arrived in Maryland in 1665

Burley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Hugh Burley, who landed in Virginia in 1705

Burley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • C. Burley settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1820
  • Emanuel Burley, who landed in Colorado in 1883


  • Dan Burley (1907-1962), American pianist and journalist
  • Scott Burley (b. 1986), American NFL football offensive lineman
  • Dame Gillian Beer nee Burley (b. 1935), British literary critic, Professor of English Literature at Cambridge
  • Roger Burley (b. 1970), English cricketer
  • George Elder Burley (b. 1956), Scottish footballer, and manager
  • William John Burley (1914-2002), British crime writer
  • Nancy Burley (b. 1930), Australian Olympic figure skater
  • Aidan Burley (b. 1979), British Conservative Party politician
  • Nichola Ann Burley (b. 1986), British actress
  • Joseph Leonard Burley (1878-1966), Australian founder of the Burley Football Company



  • The Families of Rubsamen, Spear, Dawson, Burley by Neil N. Ruebsamen.

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  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. 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.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Burley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burley 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 30 October 2014 at 08:55.

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