Berdan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Among these were the ancestors of the Berdan family, whose name comes from the Norman personal name Burdo, which is thought to be of Germanic origin.

Early Origins of the Berdan family

The surname Berdan was first found in Essex where they were granted lands by King William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings. Baron Burden appears in the Role of Battel Abbey and the Domesday Book as holding lands held by the Count of Mortain and leased to Richard de Surdeval.

Burdon and Great Burdon are townships in Durham. "The ancient family of Burdon, of knightly dignity, derived their name from this place; which also gave name to a local family, who, however, never passed the rank of yeomanry." [1]

Important Dates for the Berdan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berdan research. Another 242 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1128, 1166, 1180, 1217, 1467, 1497, 1758, 1273, 1273, 1296, 1296, 1333, 1574, 1817, 1764 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Berdan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berdan Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Burdon, Burden, Bourden, Bourdon, Birden, Berden, Burdin, Burdin, Burdun, Burdon, Burdune, Burghdone, Burdoun and many more.

Early Notables of the Berdan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Berdan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Berdan family to Ireland

Some of the Berdan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berdan migration to the United States

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Berdan or a variant listed above:

Berdan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jan Berdan, who arrived in New York in 1682 [2]

Berdan migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Berdan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Sgt. Albert Berdan U.E. (b. 1753) born in Bergen County, New Jersey, USA from Vermont, USA who settled in Woodhouse township, Norfolk County, Upper Canada, Ontario c. 1783 enlisted in 1777 he served in the New Jersey Volunteers married to Susannah Secord in 1783 they had 11 children, he died in 1818 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Berdan (post 1700)

  • John Berdan (1798-1841), American politician, the first mayor of Toledo, Ohio
  • Brian Berdan, American film editor
  • Hiram Berdan (1824-1893), American marksman, engineer, military officer and inventor of the Berdan rifle and the Berdan centerfire primer


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
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