Berrill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Berrill family

The surname Berrill was first found in North Yorkshire at Burrill, a small village in the Hambleton district that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Borel. [1] It literally meant "hill with a fort," from the Old English words "burh" + "hyll." [2]

"This name is early found upon the Border, particularly in the East Marches. Henry Burel witnessed charter of the church of Pencathlan to the Abbey of Kelso c. 1180. William Bwrel attested a document concerning the land of Cnoc in Renfrew, 1234. William Burel witnessed gift of land in Ayton to William Scot of Coldingham, c. 1250. [3]

Early rolls revealed the name as both a forename and a surname. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Johanna, relicta Burel, Oxfordshire; Burellus de Rathesnese, Norfolk; and Emma Burel, Norfolk. Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Willelmus Burell; and Johannes Borell as both holding lands there at that time. [4]

"Burrell has long been a Lincolnshire name. In Cromwell's time, Sir John Burrell of Dunsby and Redman Burrell, Esq., of Fulbeck, compounded their estates for £687 and £770 respectively (O.). The name is also now found in Norfolk. Burrell was the name of a noted family of Kent and Sussex during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, and one of the Burrells of Beckenham, Kent, was High Sheriff of Kent in 1722; Northumberland is stated to have been the home of the family in the reign of Edward I. " [5]

Farther south in Cornwall, "Burell [in the parish of Saltash] has been the seat of a family of this name for many generations. This residence can be traced back prior to the reign of Edward II. at which period one of them married the co-heiress of Woodland. The present possessor is Arthur Burell, Esq. but he is not known to have descended from the ancient family, who formerly had their seat here." [6]

Early History of the Berrill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berrill research. Another 278 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1449, 1551, 1285, 1357, 1391, 1477, 1504, 1536, 1482, 1473, 1542, 1544, 1573, 1590, 1589, 1657, 1645, 1653, 1567, 1605, 1567, 1590, 1590 and are included under the topic Early Berrill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Berrill Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Burrell, Burrel, Birrell, Burrill, Burril, Birril, Berrill and many more.

Early Notables of the Berrill family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Abraham Burrell (1589-1657), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon (1645-1653), supported the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War. Robert Birrel (fl. 1567-1605), was a Scottish diarist and Burgess of Edinburgh. "There is not much minuteness in the record of events till about 1567, when Birrel probably began to keep a note of them. There is no evidence in the 'Diary' regarding the political or religious views of the writer...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Berrill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Berrill family to Ireland

Some of the Berrill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Berrill migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Berrill Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Berrill, who settled in Virginia in 1660
Berrill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John A Berrill, who arrived in New York in 1842 [7]
  • Capt. Berrill, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [7]
  • John Dominic Berrill, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856

Contemporary Notables of the name Berrill (post 1700) +

  • Roland Fabien Berrill (1897-1962), Australian co-founder of Mensa, the international society for intellectually gifted people in 1946
  • Paul Francis Berrill (b. 1964), former English cricketer who played for Huntingdonshire in 2000
  • Norman John "Jack" Berrill FRS FRSC (1903-1996), English marine biologist, born in Bristol, member of the Royal Society of Canada (1936)
  • Sir Kenneth Berrill GBE KCB (1920-2009), English economist and public servant


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  7. ^ 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)


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