Show ContentsBurges History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Burges is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Burges family lived in Sussex. The name is derived from the Middle English word burge(i)s, or the Old French word burgeis which both mean "inhabitant and freeman of a fortified town." 1

This line are believed to be descended from the Barons Burghersh, which later became Burwash, a parish in that county. A line of the family also remained in Normandy, as Simon de Borgeis was noted there in 1195. 2 But originally the family was from Bourgeois in Picardy, France. This line of barons became extinct in 1369.

Early Origins of the Burges family

The surname Burges was first found in Sussex where one of the first records of the name was Ralph de Burgeis, who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in 1195. Philip Burgis was listed in Leicestershire in 1199 and Philip Burges, Burgeis was listed in Oxfordshire in 1220, 1234. The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex listed Walter le Borgeys in 1296. 3

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Hawise Burgeys in Bedfordshire; Philip Burgeis on Oxfordshire; John le Burges in Southampton; and Thomas Burgeys in Norfolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 179 list: Adam Burgeys and Johannes Burges. 4

Further to the south in Cornwall, "the barton of Cuskease [in the parish of St. Erth] belonged formerly to the family of Burgess of Trethingey. From these it passed by an heiress to the Hoblyns of Nanswhyden, in whom it is still vested." 5

Early History of the Burges family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burges research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1382, 1515, 1589, 1650, 1664, 1665, 1673, 1685, 1690, 1716, 1746, 1747 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Burges History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burges Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Burges are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Burges include Burgess, Burgeis, Burghersh, Burges, Burgesse, Burgar, Bergiss, Bergess, Bargess, Bargeis, Bergeus, Burgeus, Burgeuss and many more.

Early Notables of the Burges family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Cornelius Burges or Burgess, D.D. (ca.1589-1665), an English minister, descended from the Burgesses of Batcombe, Somerset

Burges Ranking

In the United States, the name Burges is the 17,853rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 6

Ireland Migration of the Burges family to Ireland

Some of the Burges family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Burges migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Burges, or a variant listed above:

Burges Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Barbara Burges, who landed in Virginia in 1622 7
  • John Burges who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • William Burges, who landed in Virginia in 1637 7
  • Mr. Burges, (b. 1611), aged 26, British servant for John Gedney traveling aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in New England in 1637 8
  • William Burges, who arrived in Maryland in 1650 7
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Burges Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Burges, who arrived in North Carolina in 1741 7
  • Isaac Burges, who landed in North America in 1745 7
  • Henry John Burges, who arrived in North Carolina in 1768 7
Burges Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Antonio Burges, aged 30, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1844 7
  • W M Burges, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 7
  • F Burges, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 7
  • Amado Burges, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1858 7
Burges Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. John Henry Burges, (b. 1878), aged 26, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 22nd May 1904 en route to Bisbee, Arizona, USA 9

Canada Burges migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Burges Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Dennis Burges U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 10
  • Mr. John Burges U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 10
Burges Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Burges, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815
  • Daniel Burges, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Favourite" in 1815

West Indies Burges 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. 11
Burges Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John and Rachel Burges, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with their servants
Burges Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Cohn Burges, who arrived in Jamaica in 1796 7

Contemporary Notables of the name Burges (post 1700) +

  • Walter S. Burges, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, 1845-50 12
  • Tristam Burges (1770-1853), American politician, Representative from Rhode Island at-large, 1825-35; Candidate for Governor of Rhode Island, 1836 12
  • Francis M. Burges, American politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate 4th District, 1856-57 12
  • Dempsey Burges (1751-1800), American politician, Representative from North Carolina, 1795-99 12
  • William Burges (1827-1881), English architect, born on 2 Dec. 1837, son of William Burges, civil engineer 13
  • John Burges (1745-1807), English physician, born in London in 1745 and educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford 13
  • Sir James Bland Burges (1752-1824), English politician, born on 8 June 1752, son of Mr. George Burges, whose immediate ancestors were Berkshire gentry 13
  • Walter Burges Beals (b. 1876), American Republican politician, Superior Court Judge in Washington, 1926-28; Justice of Washington State Supreme Court, 1928-36 14

Grover Shoe factory
  • Mrs. Burges, American employee of the Grover Shoe factory in Brockton, Massachusetts on 20th March 1905 when the boiler exploded and collapsed the wooden building; she survived 15

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  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved October 5th 2021 from
  9. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  10. 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
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from
  13. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019
  14. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from
  15. California Digital Newspaper from 21st March 1905 (retrieved on 5th August 2021.) Retrieved from on Facebook