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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The surname is one of the Anglo-Norman names that came to Ireland in the 12th century. The surname Birk is derived from the Old English word "burh," which is derived from the Old German word "burg," the common Germanic word for a fortification. It seems likely that the first family to bear this surname would have lived in or near a prehistoric fort situated on a hill. In the Norman fashion, surnames created from place names or geographic locations were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French.

Birk Early Origins



The surname Birk was first found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where the family name is descended from the Norman noble William Fitzadelm de Burgo who went to Ireland in the Anglo- Norman invasion of Ireland and was the succeeded Strongbow as Chief Governor. Great stretches of land were given to this family in the year 1177. Richard Oge de Burc, son of William, became the "Lord Justice of Ireland" under King Henry II in 1177 and was regranted the lands of his father the following year. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
Richard Mor de Burc, the older son of William, was the ancestor of the family name Bourke or Burke. They formed several septs, the two most important having been the MacWilliam Uachtar sept of county Galway, and the MacWilliam Lochtar sept of County Mayo. LF>It should be noted that not all of the family were in Ireland as some were found in Knaresborough, in the West Riding of Yorkshire in ancient times. "At the time of the Domesday Survey it formed part of the royal demesnes, and was given by the Conqueror to Serlo de Burgh, Baron of Tonsburg, in Normandy, who had accompanied that monarch into England, and by whom its stately castle, now a ruin, was originally built, on the rocky heights north of the river Nidd." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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Birk Spelling Variations


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Birk Spelling Variations



A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Birk has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: de Burgh, Burke, Bourke, Burk, Bourk, Gillick and many more.

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Birk Early History


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Birk Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birk research. Another 279 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1227, 1503, 1544, 1582, 1601, 1572, 1635, 1604, 1657, 1590, 1667, 1629, 1647, 1647, 1667, 1598, 1672, 1666, 1642 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Birk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Birk Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Birk Early Notables (pre 1700)



Notable amongst the family up to this time was Theobald Bourke, 8th Mac William Iochtar and lord of Lower (North) Connacht, died 1503; Ulick Ceann Burke (died 1544), 12th Clanricarde and 1st Earl of Clanricarde; Richard Sassanach Burke, 2nd Earl of Clanricarde (died 1582); Ulick Burke, 3rd Earl of Clanricarde, (died...

Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Birk:

Birk Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Edmund Birk, who arrived in Maryland in 1679

Birk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Lys Birk, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Mattys Birk, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Richard Birk, who arrived in Virginia in 1715
  • Samuel Birk, who landed in Virginia in 1715
  • Wolfgang Birk, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732

Birk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Peter Birk, who arrived in Galveston, Tex in 1845
  • Mary Birk, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1849
  • Phil Birk, who landed in America in 1853
  • Christopher Birk, aged 20, landed in New York, NY in 1872
  • Edward Philippe Birk, who landed in New York, NY in 1883

Birk Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Eliza Birk, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • John Birk, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811

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Contemporary Notables of the name Birk (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Birk (post 1700)



  • Sandow Birk (b. 1962), American illustrator and graphic artist
  • Raye Birk (b. 1943), American film and television actor, best known for his role as Papshmir in the first and last of the Naked Gun movies
  • Matthew Robert "Matt" Birk (b. 1976), former American football center. who played from 1998 to 2012
  • Alma Lillian Birk (1917-1996), née Wilson, Baroness Birk, a British journalist, Labour Party politician and Government minister
  • Ado Birk (1883-1942), Estonian politician, 3rd Prime Minister of Estonia in 1920
  • Thomas Birk (b. 1988), German footballer

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Motto


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Motto



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ung roy, ung foy, ung loy
Motto Translation: One king, one faith, one law.


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Birk Family Crest Products


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Birk Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  6. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  10. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Birk Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Birk Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 June 2016 at 08:55.

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