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The surname is one of the Anglo-Norman names that came to Ireland in the 12th century. The surname Burke is derived from the Old English word "burh," which is derived from the Old German word "burg," the common Germanic word for a fortification. It seems likely that the first family to bear this surname would have lived in or near a prehistoric fort situated on a hill. In the Norman fashion, surnames created from place names or geographic locations were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French.

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The surname Burke was first found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where the family name is descended from the Norman noble William Fitzadelm de Burgo who went to Ireland in the Anglo- Norman invasion of Ireland and was the succeeded Strongbow as Chief Governor. Great stretches of land were given to this family in the year 1177. Richard Oge de Burc, son of William, became the "Lord Justice of Ireland" under King Henry II in 1177 and was regranted the lands of his father the following year. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
Richard Mor de Burc, the older son of William, was the ancestor of the family name Bourke or Burke. They formed several septs, the two most important having been the MacWilliam Uachtar sept of county Galway, and the MacWilliam Lochtar sept of County Mayo. LF>It should be noted that not all of the family were in Ireland as some were found in Knaresborough, in the West Riding of Yorkshire in ancient times. "At the time of the Domesday Survey it formed part of the royal demesnes, and was given by the Conqueror to Serlo de Burgh, Baron of Tonsburg, in Normandy, who had accompanied that monarch into England, and by whom its stately castle, now a ruin, was originally built, on the rocky heights north of the river Nidd." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Medieval scribes and church officials spelled the names as they sounded, so a name was often spelled many different ways during the lifetime of a single person. The investigation of the origin of the name Burke revealed many spelling variations including de Burgh, Burke, Bourke, Burk, Bourk, Gillick and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burke research. Another 279 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1227, 1503, 1544, 1582, 1601, 1572, 1635, 1604, 1657, 1590, 1667, 1629, 1647, 1647, 1667, 1598, 1672, 1666, 1642 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Burke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable amongst the family up to this time was Theobald Bourke, 8th Mac William Iochtar and lord of Lower (North) Connacht, died 1503; Ulick Ceann Burke (died 1544), 12th Clanricarde and 1st Earl of Clanricarde; Richard Sassanach Burke, 2nd Earl of Clanricarde (died 1582); Ulick Burke, 3rd Earl of Clanricarde, (died...

Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Burke:

Burke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • H Burke, who arrived in Virginia in 1647
  • Robert Burke, who landed in Maryland in 1649
  • Robert, Burke Jr., who arrived in Maryland in 1649
  • Stephen Burke, who landed in Maryland in 1649
  • Jane Burke, who landed in Maryland in 1666
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Burke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Kath Burke, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Tho Burke, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Richard Burke, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Levi Burke, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772

Burke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joh Burke, aged 33, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Goody Burke, aged 30, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Martin Burke, who landed in America in 1810
  • Francis R Burke, aged 36, arrived in Georgia in 1812
  • Edward Burke, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • ...

Burke Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • W E Burke, who landed in Mississippi in 1906

Burke Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Elener Burke, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1811
  • Thomas Burke, who landed in Canada in 1816
  • Mary Burke, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Thomas Burke, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Edward Burke, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1825
  • ...

Burke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert O'Hara Burke (1820-1861) was one of the explorers of Australia
  • John Burke, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Sarah Ann Burke, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Patrick Burke arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839
  • Honoria Burke arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839
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Burke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Burke landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William M Otway Burke landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1840
  • R. Burke arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Belle Creole" in 1853
  • Theobald Burke, aged 25, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • Charlotte Burke, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
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  • Miles Burke, American Olympic sliver medalist for boxing at the 1904 Summer Games
  • David W. Burke (1936-2014), American television news executive, first chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, President of CBS News (1988-1990)
  • Thomas Burke (1875-1929), American two time Olympic gold medalist for Athletics in the 1896 games
  • Mary "Billie" Burke (1884-1970), American actress primarily known as Glinda the Good Witch of the North in the musical film The Wizard of Oz
  • James E. Burke (1925-2012), American businessman, CEO of Johnson & Johnson from 1976 to 1989, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Kenneth Duval Burke (1897-1993), American critic, philosopher and translator
  • Thomas Kerry Burke (b. 1942), Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives from 1987 to 1990
  • Admiral Arleigh Albert Burke (1901-1996), American Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower administration and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Edward "Ed" Burke (1909-1988), American jazz musician
  • Martha Jane Burke (1852-1903), better known as "Calamity Jane," the American frontierswoman, and professional scout
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Burke Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. Joseph H Burke (1863-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Leslie Burke (1919-1941), Australian Leading Cook (O) from Clifton Hill, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Mr. William Burke (1901-1941), Australian Chief Engine Room Artificer from Bondi Junction, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Kenneth Thomas Burke (1921-1941), Australian Telegraphist from Carnegie, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. William J Burke, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. Ernest James Burke, American 3rd Class passenger from Central Falls, Rhode Island, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. James Burke, English Trimmer from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. William Burke, aged 31, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 10
  • Mr. Richard Edward Burke (d. 1912), aged 30, English Lounge Steward from Chandler's Ford, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Jeremiah Burke (d. 1912), aged 19, Irish Third Class passenger from Glanmire, Cork who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • Burk(e) Family of Southwest Virginia and the Valley by John A. Kelly.
  • A Family Tree by James Robert Harrington.
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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: Ung roy, ung foy, ung loy
Motto Translation: One king, one faith, one law.

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Citations



  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Burke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burke 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 21 August 2016 at 04:53.

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