Birlee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient history of the Birlee name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in the fort by the wood having derived from the Old English burhleah. 
The name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where Wihenoc de Burli was listed as holding lands in Norfolk.  Over one hundred years later, John de Burgeley was found in Hertfordshire in the Feet of Fines for 1198 and later, John of Burlay was registered in Warwickshire in the Assize Rolls in 1249. 
Early Origins of the Birlee family
The surname Birlee was first found in Somerset where Burley Castle where a motte and bailey castle of the late 11th or early 12th century remains to this day. The village and civil parish Burley, or Burley-on-the-Hill, is located two miles north-east of Oakham in Rutland. Burleigh Castle is located near the village of Milnathort, in Perth and Kinross, Scotland and dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. It was held by the Balfours from 1446. Burleigh is also a village in Berkshire, England, within the civil parish of Warfield.
Some of the earliest records of the family include: John Burley (d. 1333), a Carmelite of Stamford; Walter Burley (or Burleigh), (c.1275-1344), a medieval English logician, Master of Arts at Oxford in 1301, and a fellow of Merton College, Oxford until 1305; and Sir Simon Burley (1336-1388), an early English warrior and favourite from a Herefordshire family. "His parentage is uncertain, but he appears to have been a younger brother rather than a son of the Sir John Burley who received the Garter at the accession of Richard II."  He was accused and sentenced for abuse of power by the parliament 5 May 1388 and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, which was commuted by the king. He was summarily beheaded the same day. 
Early History of the Birlee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birlee research. Another 191 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1437, 1409, 1336, 1388, 1384, 1388, 1388, 1485 and 1510 are included under the topic Early Birlee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birlee Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Birlee include Burley, Burleigh, Burlie, Burrley, Burrlie, Burrleigh, Burly, Bourley, Bourleigh, Bourly, Berly and many more.
Early Notables of the Birlee family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Burley, Speaker of the House of Commons of England in March 1437; and John Burley, Sheriff of county Salop in 1409. Sir Simon de Burley (ca.1336-1388), was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birlee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birlee family to Ireland
Some of the Birlee family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 46 words (3 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 Birlee family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Birlee or a variant listed above: Abell Burleigh who settled in Virginia in 1652; followed by William in 1729; George William Burleigh, who settled in New York State early in the seventeenth century.
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print