The surname is one of the Anglo-Norman names that came to Ireland
in the 12th century. The surname Burkes is derived from the Old English word "burh," which is derived from the Old German word "burg," the common Germanic word for a fortification. It seems likely that the first family to bear this surname would have lived in or near a prehistoric fort situated on a hill. In the Norman fashion, surnames created from place names or geographic locations were prefixed by "de," which means "from" in French.
Early Origins of the Burkes family
The surname Burkes was first found in County Galway
(Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht
, located on the west coast of the Island, where the family name is descended from the Norman noble William Fitzadelm de Burgo who went to Ireland
in the Anglo- Norman invasion
and was the succeeded Strongbow
as Chief Governor. Great stretches of land were given to this family in the year 1177. Richard Oge de Burc, son of William, became the "Lord Justice of Ireland" under King Henry II in 1177 and was regranted the lands of his father the following year. CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
Richard Mor de Burc, the older son of William, was the ancestor of the family name Bourke or Burke. They formed several septs, the two most important having been the MacWilliam Uachtar sept of county Galway, and the MacWilliam Lochtar sept of County Mayo. It should be noted that not all of the family were in Ireland as some were found in Knaresborough, in the West Riding of Yorkshire in ancient times. "At the time of the Domesday Survey it formed part of the royal demesnes, and was given by the Conqueror to Serlo de Burgh, Baron of Tonsburg, in Normandy, who had accompanied that monarch into England, and by whom its stately castle, now a ruin, was originally built, on the rocky heights north of the river Nidd." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Burkes family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burkes research.Another 360 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1227, 1503, 1544, 1582, 1601, 1572, 1635, 1604, 1657, 1590, 1667, 1629, 1647, 1647, 1667, 1598, 1672, 1666, 1642 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Burkes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Burkes Spelling Variations
It was found during an investigation of the origins of the name Burkes that church officials and medieval scribes often spelled the name as it sounded. This practice lead to a single person's being documented under many spelling variations
. The name Burkes has existed in the various shapes: de Burgh, Burke, Bourke, Burk, Bourk, Gillick and many more.
Early Notables of the Burkes family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Theobald Bourke, 8th Mac William Iochtar and lord of Lower (North) Connacht, died 1503; Ulick Ceann Burke (died 1544), 12th Clanricarde and 1st Earl of Clanricarde; Richard Sassanach Burke, 2nd Earl of Clanricarde (died 1582); Ulick Burke, 3rd Earl of Clanricarde, (died... Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burkes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Burkes family to the New World and Oceana
Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families
desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland
resulted in the Great Potato Famine
. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Burkes:
Burkes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- leant Burkes, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Contemporary Notables of the name Burkes (post 1700)
- Johnny Burkes (1908-1964), American lyricist
- Robert O'Hara Burkes (1820-1821), Irish soldier
- Sean Burkes (b. 1967), Canadian former professional ice hockey player
- Johnny Burkes (1851-1930), Newfoundland songwriter and musician
- Matthew Burkes (b. 1973), retired Australian rugby union player
The Burkes 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: Ung roy, ung foy, ung loy
Motto Translation: One king, one faith, one law.