Bork History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bork comes from the German region of Westphalia. The tradition of adopting hereditary surnames came to Germany after the 12th century, and the names of places where people lived were a primary source. Many local names carry the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from". It originally indicated land ownership, and is sometimes a mark of nobility. The Bork family originally lived in or near one of the numerous places named Bork in Germany and in bordering Slav countries. Bork is a topographic surname, a type of local surname that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. The toponym Bork is derived from the Old German word Burg, which meant castle or fortress.

Early Origins of the Bork family

The surname Bork was first found in Westphalia, where the name Borch was closely identified in early mediaeval times with the feudal society which would become prominent throughout European history. The name would later emerge as a noble family with great influence, having many distinguished branches, and become noted for its involvement in social, economic and political affairs.

Early History of the Bork family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bork research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1847, 1617, 1681, 1707 and 1747 are included under the topic Early Bork History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bork Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Bork include Bork, Borck, Borcke, Borcker, Bork, Borkk, Borkke, Borch and many more.

Early Notables of the Bork family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bork Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bork migration to the United States +

For many Germans, emigration to North America was an inviting alternative to the trials of life in the old country. From the mid-17th into the present century, thousands of Germans migrated across the Atlantic. They capitalized on the chance to escape poverty and persecution, and to own their own land. After 1650, Germans settled throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also landed in Canada, settling in Ontario or father west on the rich land of the prairies. Among them:

Bork Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Rodger Bork, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [1]
Bork Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Matthes Bork, age 40, who arrived with his wife and 6 children in America in 1709
  • Elizabeth Bork, age 20, who arrived in America in 1709
Bork Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Franr Bork, aged 35, who landed in New York, NY in 1852 [1]
  • Wilhm Bork, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1862 [1]
Bork Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • H J Bork, who arrived in Mississippi in 1903 [1]
  • Julius Herman Bork, who landed in Wisconsin in 1921 [1]

New Zealand Bork migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bork Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Henry Bork, aged 21, a fitter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Golden Sea" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Bork (post 1700) +

  • Frank Bernard Bork (b. 1940), American major league baseball pitcher
  • Kennard Baker Bork, retired American teacher of geology and geography
  • George Bork (b. 1942), American football player
  • Robert Bork (b. 1927), American nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, judge, lawyer, and educator
  • Robert Heron Bork (1927-2012), American politician, U.S. Solicitor General, 1973-77; U.S. Attorney General, 1973-74; Judge of U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1982-88

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook
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