Show ContentsBirgen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Birgen arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Birgen family lived in Devon, where they held a family seat after the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century. Originally from France, the name denoted a native of Burgundy as in 'de Burgoyne'. [1] [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Birgen family

The surname Birgen was first found in the Pipe Rolls of 1160 which includes an entry for Robert Burguignon (no county provided.) Later in London, we found John le Burguinun in the Pipe Rolls of 1173 and on the Isle of Man, the Pipe Rolls there listed John le Burguinn in 1214. John Burgoynoun was recorded at Trentham, Staffordshire in 1330. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists: John de Burgoyne, Somerset; Almaric Burgoyne, Bedfordshire; and John Burgoyn, Gloucestershire. [5] Richard Burgoyne, was Rector of Newton, Norfolk (no date given). [6]

Farther to the north in Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included an entry for Elizabet de Burgon. [5]

"William Burgoyn was chamberlain of the city of Exeter in 1496, and William Burgoyn was sheriff of that city in 1537. In the 16th and 17th centuries a gentle family of Burgoin resided at Bideford; and in the reign of George I., Thomas Burgoyne was a Bideford gentleman. In fact, as far back as the time of Henry VIII., Jeofferie Burgin was a Bideford townsman. During the 16th and 17th centuries a gentle family of Burgoin flourished in the hamlet of Zeal near South Tawton. Robert Burgoine, Esq., was a Tiverton churchwarden in 1654. In the 13th century this name, in the forms of Burgoyn and Burgoyne, occasionally preceded by "De," occurred in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset. The Burgoyns in the east of England were at that distant period important families, and it is stated by most of the Devonshire antiquarians and historians that the Devonshire stock hailed originally from Bedfordshire. If this is true, the migration must have occurred at a very early date, since not only, as I have observed above, were high official positions in the city of Exeter held by the Burgoyns in the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., a circumstance itself not indicative of recent immigration, but as far back as the reign of Edward I. the name was represented in the west of England in the counties of Somerset and Gloucester." [7]

Early History of the Birgen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birgen research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1210, 1273, 1273, 1319, 1379, 1500, 1638, 1680, 1682, 1683, 1703, 1764, 1592, 1657, 1645, 1648, 1722, 1792, 1740, 1741, 1739, 1785, 1739, 1764, 1789 and 1795 are included under the topic Early Birgen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Birgen Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Burgon, Burgoin, Burgunie, Burgoyne, Burgoyn, Burgoigne, Burgane, Burgin and many more.

Early Notables of the Birgen family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Burgane, a prominent landholder in Scotland in the 16th century; and Sir John Burgoyne (c.1592-1657) 1st Baronet, an English politician, Member of Parliament for Warwickshire (1645-1648), supported the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War. John Burgoyne (1722-1792), the English dramatist and general, was the only son of, Captain John Burgoyne, a man of fashion, who died in the rules of the king's bench, and grandson of Sir John Burgoyne, bart., of Sutton Park, Bedfordshire. He was educated at Westminster School, where he made friends with Lord Strange, eldest son of the Earl...
Another 135 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birgen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Birgen family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Birgen or a variant listed above were: Evan Burgen, who came to Virginia in 1643; Philip Burgen, who arrived in Maryland in 1678; Anne Burgan, who settled in Virginia in 1703; John Burgane, who settled in Virginia in 1704.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  7. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print. on Facebook