Show ContentsBur History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bur is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was a name for someone who was a determined person. The surname Bur is derived from the Old English word burre, which first appeared c. 1330 and has taken the spellings of bur and burr in modern English. Shakespeare used the word to describe a person who "clings like a burr" and is "difficult to shake off," but this sense of the word is probably much older.

Early Origins of the Bur family

The surname Bur was first found in Lincolnshire but we must look to West Bergholt in Essex for the earliest recording of the name. "A chantry was founded here in 1331, by J. De Bures, for a priest to officiate at the altar of the Virgin Mary." [1]

"The Bowers of Iwerne House, Dorset, claim descent from Michael de Bures, a contemporary of the Conquerors, whose son Walter gave its present name of Bures to a small manor he possessed near Calne in Wiltshire. Nicholas de Boure, 2 Richard II., was seated at Boure's Place, near Deverell, holding part of his estate in capite; and Boure's Field, in the same county, belonged to his brother William." [2]

"Sir Robert de Bures, Lord of Chartley, Stafford, served as Knight of the shire in 1313. Sir John de Bures of Somersetshire, several times mentioned at the same period in the Parliamentary Rolls, who likewise held lands in Berkshire and Gloucestershire." [2]

Further north in Scotland, the name is also an ancient one. "Burr is an old name in the district of Tarves, Aberdeenshire, and is still pretty general there. Andrew de Burr of Mundole and Culbyn had a remission in 1337, and Andrea Burr was clerk of liberation in 1342. Walter Bur or Burre had a charter of an annual rent in the lands of Tyrie and Sefield in the constabulary of Kinghorne from David II. Robert Bure was procurator in Glasgow in 1433, and in 1440-1442 a Robert Burr or Bur is mentioned as vicar of Peebles." [3]

Early History of the Bur family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bur research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1520, 1340, 1397 and 1343 are included under the topic Early Bur History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bur Spelling Variations

Bur has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Bur have been found, including Burr, Bur, Burre and others.

Early Notables of the Bur family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bur Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bur Ranking

In France, the name Bur is the 8,348th most popular surname with an estimated 500 - 1,000 people with that name. [4]

United States Bur migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Burs to arrive on North American shores:

Bur Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bur, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [5]
  • Frank Bur, aged 28, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1871 [5]
  • Andrew Bur, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1873 [5]

Canada Bur migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bur Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Bur, aged 52, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Peggy" from Plymouth, England

Contemporary Notables of the name Bur (post 1700) +

  • Yves Bur (b. 1951), French politician, member of the National Assembly of France

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. 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
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. 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