Show ContentsBurch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Burch family

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]

Early History of the Burch family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burch research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1615, 1691, 1645, 1660, 1652, 1710 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Burch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burch Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Burch family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Birch, Bishop of Hereford; and Colonel John Birch (1615-1691), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Leominster (1645-1660), who fought for the Parliamentary cause in the English civil war. He "belonged to a younger...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burch Ranking

In the United States, the name Burch is the 868th most popular surname with an estimated 34,818 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Burch family to Ireland

Some of the Burch family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 36 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 Burch migration to the United States +

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
  • William Burch, aged 19, who arrived in Virginia in 1634 aboard the ship "Bonaventure" coming via St. Domingo [3]
  • Jon Burch, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [3]
  • Thomas Burch, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [3]
  • William Burch, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [3]
Burch Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Burch, who landed in Virginia in 1716 [3]
  • Carl Lud Burch, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1794 [3]
  • Washington Burch, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799 [3]
Burch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Gustavus Burch, aged 24, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804 [3]
  • James Burch, aged 20, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1846 [3]
  • M S Burch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • Matthew Burch, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [3]

Canada Burch migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 [4]
  • Mrs. Martha Burch U.E. who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783 [4]
Burch Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • George Burch, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Burch migration to Australia +

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

Burch Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Burch 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:

Burch Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Burch, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Halcione" in 1870 [6]
  • Amos Burch, aged 24, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874
  • Caleb Burch, aged 21, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wairoa" in 1877

West Indies Burch 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. [7]
Burch Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Daniell Burch, (b. 1621), aged 14, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Burch (post 1700) +

  • John Chilton Burch (1826-1885), American politician, California Democratic politician and United States Congressman, Secretary of the United States Senate (1879 to 1881)
  • 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 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
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Burch 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: Prudentia simplicitate
Motto Translation: Simply prudent.

Suggested Readings for the name Burch +

  • 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.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHINA 1852. Retrieved
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 12th December 2018). Retrieved from
  8. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021 from on Facebook