Show ContentsBourn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bourn is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived at or near a local stream or a spring. Bourn is a small village and civil parish in South Cambridgeshire. The population of the parish was 1,764 people at the time of the 2001 census.

Bourn Castle was located there and originally consisted of wooden buildings on an earthwork enclosure which was erected during the reign of William the Conqueror. This was burnt down during the reign of Henry III. In the early 16th century Bourn Hall was built on part of the site.

Early Origins of the Bourn family

The surname Bourn was first found in Lincolnshire at Bourne, a market town and civil parish in the South Kesteven district which dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Brune. The place name was derived from the Old English word burna or perhaps the Old Scandinavian word brunnr.

The aforementioned Bourn in South Cambridgeshire also dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed at that time as Brune. It has a similar origin. [1]

Bourne Abbey is in Bourne, Lincolnshire dates back to before Domesday Book in 1086. At that time, it was listed as "half a church" and had a priest. In other words, it was a small church but standards of those days. Bourne Abbey and the surrounding area was held by Ogier the Breton and was a major fishery holding at the time 2,500 eels. [2]

Early History of the Bourn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bourn research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1583, 1560, 1590, 1679, 1611, 1690, 1648, 1719, 1648, 1689, 1754, 1689, 1714, 1796, 1714, 1569, 1524, 1531, 1696, 1733 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Bourn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bourn Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Bourn has been spelled many different ways, including Bourne, Borne, Bourn and others.

Early Notables of the Bourn family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Bourne or Bourn; (d. 1583), English mathematician, son of William Bourne of Gravesend, who died 1560; Immanuel Bourne (1590-1679), English divine from East Haddon, Northamptonshire; and Nehemiah Bourne (c. 1611-1690), an English Royal Navy Admiral who emigrated to America after the Restoration, retiring his appointment. Samuel Bourn, the Elder (1648-1719), was an English dissenting minister, born in 1648 at Derby, where his father and grandfather, who were clothiers, had shown some public spirit in providing the town with...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bourn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bourn Ranking

In the United States, the name Bourn is the 14,683rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Bourn family to Ireland

Some of the Bourn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bourn migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Bourns to arrive in North America:

Bourn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catharina Bourn, who arrived in America in 1738 [4]
  • Hans Jacob Bourn, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751 [4]
  • Mary Bourn who arrived in Philadelphia in 1774
Bourn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Julianne Bourn, who arrived in North America in 1853 [4]
  • Leopold Bourn, who arrived in North America in 1855 [4]
  • Peter Bourn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1867 [4]

Canada Bourn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bourn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Bourn, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

Australia Bourn migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bourn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Phoebe Bourn, English convict who was convicted in Birmingham, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 14th September 1846, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]

New Zealand Bourn 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:

Bourn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Bourn, who landed in Turanganui, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. C. J. Bourn, (b. 1829), aged 21, British groom and agricultural labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Randolph" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand in September 1850, he died in 1907 [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Bourn, (b. 1852), aged 23, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [7]

West Indies Bourn migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Bourn Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Bourn, who settled in Barbados with his wife and sons in 1680

Contemporary Notables of the name Bourn (post 1700) +

  • Helen D. Bourn, American Republican politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Exeter; Elected 1938 [9]
  • Augustus Osborn Bourn (1834-1925), American politician, Member of Rhode Island State Senate, 1876-83, 1886-88; Governor of Rhode Island, 1883-85; U.S. Consul General in Rome, 1889-93 [9]
  • Augustus Osborn Bourn (1834-1925), American politician and governor of Rhode Island
  • Thomas Bourn (1771-1832), English compiler, born in Hackney on 19 April 1771 [10]
  • Sir John Bryant Bourn KCB (1934-2022), British auditor, Comptroller and Auditor General (1988-2008), Auditor General for Wales (1999-2005)
  • Sir John Bourn, officer of the British House of Commons, holder of the office of Comptroller and Auditor General
  • Michael R Bourn (b. 1982), American Major League Baseball player

The Bourn 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: Haec omnia transeunt
Motto Translation: All these things pass away.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th March 2022). Retrieved from
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from
  10. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019 on Facebook