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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Dutch, English


The ancestors of the Burch surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in an area close to a birch tree which is derived from the Old English word Birce, which literally means birch. The family gave their name to the village of Birch in Lancashire.

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The surname Burch was first found in Lancashire at Birch, a district chapelry, in the parish of Manchester, union of Chorlton, hundred of Salford. "The chapel, dedicated to St. James, is supposed to have been originally built by a member of the family of Birch. Birch Hall, a seat of the Haverseges, passed from them to the Birches; and it is conjectured that the plans laid by James, Earl of Derby, for seizing Manchester for Charles I., were disconcerted by the councils of Col. Birch (1615-1691) and his compeers, held here." [1] "In the reign of Edward II. the manor [of Birches in Cheshire] passed with the heiress of Nicholas de Birches, by marriage, to the Winningtons." [1]

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Burch include Birch, Birche, Burch, Berch and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burch research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1615, 1691, 1645, 1660 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Burch History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Burch family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Burch Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Willm Burch, aged 19, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Jon Burch, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Thomas Burch, who arrived in Maryland in 1665
  • William Burch, who landed in Maryland in 1674

Burch Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Richard Burch, who landed in Virginia in 1716
  • Carl Lud Burch, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1794
  • Washington Burch, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799

Burch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Gustavus Burch, aged 24, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • James Burch, aged 20, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1846
  • M S Burch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Matthew Burch, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872

Burch Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • David Burch, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Esq. John Burch U.E who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783
  • Mrs. Martha Burch U.E who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783

Burch Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • George Burch, who landed in St John, New Brunswick in 1907

Burch Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Burch, aged 39, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "China"

Burch Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Frederick Burch arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Halcione" in 1870
  • Amos Burch, aged 24, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Caleb Burch, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877

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  • Tory Burch (b. 1966), American fashion designer, business woman and philanthropist
  • Michael Ray Burch (b. 1958), American poet
  • Lucius Edward Burch Jr. (1912-1996), American attorney based in Memphis
  • Marc Burch (b. 1984), American soccer player
  • Laurel Burch (1945-2007), American artist, designer and businesswoman
  • John Chilton Burch (1826-1885), American politician, California Democratic politician and United States Congressman,Secretary of the United States Senate (1879 to 1881)
  • John Bayard Burch (b. 1929), American zoologist
  • George Edward Burch (1910-1986), American cardiologist
  • Claire Burch (1925-2009), American author, filmmaker and poet
  • Harry "Billy" Wilfred Burch (1900-1950), American professional ice hockey forward, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1974

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  • History of the Burch Family of Kentucky by Frank Eugene Toon.
  • Record of the Ancestors and Descendants of Nathan Burch (1781-1858) and Damaris Babcock (1783-1869) of Brookfield, Madison County, New York by Harold John Witter.
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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: Prudentia simplicitate
Motto Translation: Simply prudent.

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Burch Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burch Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 March 2016 at 11:05.

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