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


The Norman Conquest of England of 1066 added many new elements to the already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Burden name is derived from the Norman personal name Burdo, which is thought to be of Germanic origin.

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The surname Burden was first found in Essex where they were granted lands by King William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings. Baron Burden appears in the Role of Battel Abbey and the Domesday Book as holding lands held by the Count of Mortain and leased to Richard de Surdeval.

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Burdon, Burden, Bourden, Bourdon, Birden, Berden, Burdin, Burdin, Burdun, Burdon, Burdune, Burghdone, Burdoun and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burden research. Another 358 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1128, 1166, 1180, 1217, 1273, 1296, 1333, 1467, 1497, 1574, 1758, 1764, 1817, and 1818 are included under the topic Early Burden History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Burden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Burden family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Burden or a variant listed above:

Burden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Edw Burden, who landed in Virginia in 1634
  • Jon Burden, who landed in Virginia in 1634
  • George Burden settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635
  • George Burden, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1636
  • Edward Burden who settled in Virginia in 1637

Burden Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Tho Burden, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Thomas Burden settled in Virginia in 1734
  • John Burden, who landed in America in 1740
  • Samuel Burden, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Burden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Richard Burden, aged 28, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Richd Burden, aged 28, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • John and Richard Burden settled in New York State in 1803
  • Henry Burden, who landed in Albany, NY in 1819
  • Joseph W Burden, who arrived in New York, NY in 1842


Burden Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Benjamin Burden, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Jos Burden, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. Thomas Burden U.E born in Massachusetts, USA who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1783 passenger on the Union Transport from New York

Burden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Sarah Burden arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849
  • Edmund Burden arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" in 1850
  • Charles Burden arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" in 1850
  • Sarah Burden, aged 21, a nursemaid, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"

Burden Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Burden arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
  • Enoch Burden arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1870

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  • William H. Burden, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State Senate 32nd District, 1947-50
  • William Armistead Moale Burden (1906-1984), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, 1959-61
  • Theron H. Burden, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1908, 1912, 1916; Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 2nd District, 1916
  • Shirley Carter Burden Jr. (1941-1996), American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 18th District, 1978
  • Samuel J. Burden, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Queens County 1st District, 1913
  • Marcus B. Burden Jr., American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives 5th District, 1974
  • Oliver D. Burden (b. 1873), American Republican politician, Attorney for Theodore Roosevelt in the libel case brought by political boss William Barnes, Jr., 1915; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York, 1923-36
  • Julia R. Burden, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1924
  • Joseph Burden, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Springfield, Missouri, 1855
  • John F. Burden, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1960, 1964 (alternate)

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  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  11. ...

The Burden Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burden 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 9 December 2015 at 11:50.

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