Bourchier History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the name Bourchier begins with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. This Norman name was soon thereafter given to a person who frequently used the informal Norman greeting beu sire, which means good sir, or fine sir. 
Another source presumes the name could have been from the French word "bussiere," and literally meant "dweller in the place planted with bushes." 
"Bourcher or Bourchier are not the original form of this great name, which, derived from Boursseres in Burgundy, passed through various stages of transmutation as Berseres, Bursers, Boussers, Burcer, Bowser (as it is given by Duchesne) Burghcher, &c, &c, before it finally reached the one in which it is familiar to us. Urso de Berseres, in 1086, held Senly in Buckinghamshire  and Sylvester de Bursers, in 1165, was a tenant of the Honour of Clare, in Suffolk . " 
Early Origins of the Bourchier family
The surname Bourchier was first found in Essex. They were originally from Bouchier in Normandy, and arrived in England with Duke William in 1066. 
John de Bourchier (d.circa 1330) was an English Judge of the Common Pleas and the earliest ancestor of the family. His son, Robert Bourchier or Boussier was 1st Baron Bourchier (died 1349) and held the position of Lord Chancellor of England, the first layman to hold the post. His son, John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Bourchier (d. 1400), was a soldier and diplomat. 
"The eldest of the sons, Henry Earl of Ewe and Essex, Lord Treasurer of England, was grandfather of Henry, the second and last Earl of Essex, a gallant courtier of his day, and captain of Henry the Eighth's body guard, who attended his royal master into France as Lieut.-General of all the Spears: and at the famous tournament which Henry held in the eighth year of his reign, the Earl of Essex, with the King himself, the Duke of Suffolk, and Nicholas Carew, answered all comers. A few years after, his lordship again attended his sovereign to France, and swelled the pageantry upon the field of the Cloth of Gold. The Earl died in consequence of a fall from his horse in 1539, and his barony of Bourchier was eventually inherited by the descendants of his sister Cicely." 
Early History of the Bourchier family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bourchier research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1400, 1409, 1400, 1409, 1405, 1467, 1533, 1587, 1654, 1643, 1595, 1660, 1491, 1551, 1535, 1605 and 1589 are included under the topic Early Bourchier History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bourchier Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bourchier family name include Bowser, Bouchier, Boucher, Bourchier, Bowesar, Bowsher and many more.
Early Notables of the Bourchier family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Bourchier (d. 1400), soldier and diplomat in the service of the crown; Bartholomew Bourchier, 3rd Baron Bourchier (died 1409), member of Parliament, summoned to Parliament the first time 9 September 1400, the year of his father's death, continued to be summoned until 1409, but obtained an exemption from attended in 1405, no records of military service, unlike his father and grandfather; John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners (1467-1533), an English soldier, statesman and translator; General Sir...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bourchier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bourchier family to Ireland
Some of the Bourchier family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 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 Bourchier family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Bourchier family to immigrate North America: Anne Bowser who settled in Nova Scotia in 1774; with her mother Anne and brother Richard; Henry Bowser settled in Washington Maryland in 1798; William Bowser settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1774..
Contemporary Notables of the name Bourchier (post 1700) +
- Lieutenant Claude Thomas Bourchier VC (1831-1877), English officer, recipient of the Victoria Cross for his actions on 20 November 1854 at Sebastopol, Crimea
- Arthur Bourchier (1863-1927), English actor and theatre manager
- Brigadier Sir Murray William James Bourchier (1881-1937), Australian soldier and politician, Deputy Premier of Victoria (1935-1936)
- John William Bourchier CBE (b. 1929), Australian politician, Member of the Australian Parliament for Bendigo (1972-1983)
- James David Bourchier (1850-1920), Irish journalist and political activist
- Sir Courtenay Bourchier Vyvyan (1858-1941), 10th Baronet
- John Bourchier Berners (1467-1533), English writer and soldier
- Bourchier Wrey Savile (1817-1888), author, second son of Albany Savile (died 1831), M.P., of Okehampton
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
- ^ 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)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.