Berways History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Berways is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Berways family lived in East Sussex, where Burwash is a civil parish in the diocese of Chichester.
Early Origins of the Berways family
The surname Berways was first found in East Sussex at Burwash, a rural village and civil parish in the Rother District which dates back to the 12th century when it was first listed as Burhercse and literally meant "ploughed field by the fort," from the Old English words "burh" + "erse." 
Rudyard Kipling lived here for almost half of his life but before that, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the village was known for smugglers and highwaymen. Several smugglers' graves can still be seen in the churchyard of St Bartholomew's. As far as the surname is concerned, the family was descended from the Barons of Burghersh, from whom was descended Sir Bartholomew de Borways (Burghersh) the Elder (d. 1355) (whose successor was Sir Stephen Biorwash. 
Lord Bartholomew Burghersh the Younger (d. 1369), son of Bartholomew Burghersh the Elder, adopted his father's profession of arms and rivalled him in military distinction. "His recorded career begins in 1339, when he accompanied Edward III in his expedition to Flanders and took part in the first invasion of French territory." 
Henry Burghersh (1292-1340), was Bishop of Lincoln, third son of Sir Robert Burghersh, Lord Burghersh, whose family took their name from Burghersh or Burwash in Sussex. 
The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III had two entries for the family: William de Burwarsh, Kent, 20 Edward I; and Henry de Burghersh, Nottinghamshire, 30 Edward I. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Robert de Burgheste in Sussex. 
Early History of the Berways family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berways research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1273 and 1320 are included under the topic Early Berways History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Berways Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Burwash, Burwasch, Borways, Burghersh, Berwash, Barwash, Burways, Berways, Borghersh and many more.
Early Notables of the Berways family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Berways Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Berways family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Berways or a variant listed above: Charles Burwash who arrived in New York in 1765.
Contemporary Notables of the name Berways (post 1700)
- Nathaniel Berways, Company Executive
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)