Birges History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Birges family, who lived in Sussex. The name is derived from the Middle English word burge(i)s, or the Old French word burgeis which both mean "inhabitant and freeman of a fortified town." 
This line are believed to be descended from the Barons Burghersh, which later became Burwash, a parish in that county. A line of the family also remained in Normandy, as Simon de Borgeis was noted there in 1195.  But originally the family was from Bourgeois in Picardy, France. This line of barons became extinct in 1369.
Early Origins of the Birges family
The surname Birges was first found in Sussex where one of the first records of the name was Ralph de Burgeis, who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in 1195. Philip Burgis was listed in Leicestershire in 1199 and Philip Burges, Burgeis was listed in Oxfordshire in 1220, 1234. The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex listed Walter le Borgeys in 1296. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Hawise Burgeys in Bedfordshire; Philip Burgeis on Oxfordshire; John le Burges in Southampton; and Thomas Burgeys in Norfolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 179 list: Adam Burgeys and Johannes Burges. 
Further to the south in Cornwall, "the barton of Cuskease [in the parish of St. Erth] belonged formerly to the family of Burgess of Trethingey. From these it passed by an heiress to the Hoblyns of Nanswhyden, in whom it is still vested." 
Important Dates for the Birges family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birges research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1515, 1382, 1382, 1685, 1589, 1665, 1664, 1650, 1716, 1690, 1673, 1747, 1746 and are included under the topic Early Birges History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birges Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Birges were recorded, including Burgess, Burgeis, Burghersh, Burges, Burgesse, Burgar, Bergiss, Bergess, Bargess, Bargeis, Bergeus, Burgeus, Burgeuss and many more.
Early Notables of the Birges family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Berth de Borways; Cornelius Burges or Burgess, D.D. (ca.1589-1665), an English minister, descended from the Burgesses of Batcombe, Somerset; and Anthony Burges or Burgess (died 1664), a Nonconformist English clergyman, a prolific preacher and writer. On the infamous side, Captain Samuel Burgess (c. 1650-1716) was a member of Captain William Kidd's crew in 1690...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birges Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birges family to Ireland
Some of the Birges family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birges family
The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Birges arrived in North America very early: John Burges who arrived in Virginia in 1635; John and Rachel Burges settled in Barbados in 1680 with their servants; Alexander Burgess arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1851.
- ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print