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

Origins Available: English, Irish


Boggess is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Boggess 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." [1] 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. [2] But originally the family was from Bourgeois in Picardy, France. This line of barons became extinct in 1369.

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The surname Boggess 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. [3] 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. [4]

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 Burgess, Burgeis, Burghersh, Burges, Burgesse, Burgar, Bergiss, Bergess, Bargess, Bargeis, Bergeus, Burgeus, Burgeuss and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boggess research. Another 363 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1515, 1382, 1382, 1685, 1589, 1665, 1664, 1650, 1716 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Boggess History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boggess Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Boggess family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Boggess or a variant listed above were: 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.

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  • Lynton Ross "Dusty" Boggess (1904-1968), American umpire in Major League Baseball
  • Sierra Boggess (b. 1982), American theater actress and soprano singer


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  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Boggess Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Boggess 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 22 September 2015 at 09:00.

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