Birgiss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Birgiss is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Birgiss family 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 Birgiss family
The surname Birgiss 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." 
Early History of the Birgiss family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birgiss 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 Birgiss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birgiss 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 Burgess, Burgeis, Burghersh, Burges, Burgesse, Burgar, Bergiss, Bergess, Bargess, Bargeis, Bergeus, Burgeus, Burgeuss and many more.
Early Notables of the Birgiss 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 Birgiss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birgiss family to Ireland
Some of the Birgiss 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 Birgiss 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, travelling 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 Birgiss or a variant listed above: 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.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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