Borrie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Borrie is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Borrie family lived in the county of Devon, where the family settled after arriving in England with William the Conqueror at the time of the Norman Conquest of England. The name is derived from the phrase at the Bury which has evolved to the more modern term borough.

Early Origins of the Borrie family

The surname Borrie was first found in Devon, in the parish of Berry-Pomeroy and before that Berry or Berri was the appellation of one of the old provinces of France. [1] [2] Another source notes "scattered disconnectedly over England. It is most numerous in Lancashire, and afterwards in the counties of Northampton, Warwick, and Devon. Probably it is usually derived from places, Berry being the name of a Devonshire parish, whilst Bury is the name of towns and localities in Lancashire, Suffolk, etc." [3]

Early History of the Borrie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Borrie research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1781, 1873, 1635, 1690, 1675, 1691, 1636 and are included under the topic Early Borrie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Borrie Spelling Variations

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 Berry, Bery, Berey, De Berry and others.

Early Notables of the Borrie family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Berry, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1450; Sir Thomas Berry of Buckland; Alexander Berry (1781-1873), Scottish surgeon, merchant, and explorer after whom the Australian town is named; Sir John Berry (1635-1690), English naval officer of the Royal Navy, and was in 1675 the captain of the annual convoy to Newfoundland; and Major-General James Berry (d. 1691), English Parliamentary officer who fought in the English Civil War. On the more infamous side, it is claimed that Charlotte de Berry (born 1636) was an English female...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Borrie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Borrie family to Ireland

Some of the Borrie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Borrie 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:

Borrie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Borrie, British farmer travelling from London aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th April 1857 [4]
  • Mrs. Borrie, British settler travelling from London with 6 children aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th April 1857 [4]
  • Mr. George Borrie, (b. 1846), aged 27, Scottish labourer travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Wild Deer" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th March 1874 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Borrie (post 1700) +

  • Leah Claire Borrie, American director, known for her work on Babygirl (2021), The Day the World Expanded (2016) and Corbin Nash (2018)
  • Alexandra Borrie, American actress, known for Innerspace (1987), Remington Steele (1982) and The Twilight Zone (1985)
  • Gordon Johnson Borrie QC (1931-2016), Baron Borrie, an English lawyer and Labour Party life peer
  • Gilles Willem Benjamin Borrie (1925-2016), Dutch politician and historian, mayor of Sleen (1960–1968), Tiel (1968–1973), Rheden (1973–1979) and Eindhoven (1979–1987)
  • Robert James "Bob" Borrie (1926-1999), Canadian politician, manager and secretary, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Prince George-Peace River (1968-1972)
  • Edwin Fullarton Borrie (1894-1968), Australian civil engineer and town planner who was awarded the Town and Country Planning Association (Victoria) (Sir James) Barrett medal, eponym of Lake Borrie, Victoria, Australia


The Borrie 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: Nihil sine labore
Motto Translation: Nothing without labour.


  1. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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