Burleigh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Burleigh dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the fort by the wood having derived from the Old English burhleah.

Early Origins of the Burleigh family

The surname Burleigh was first found in Somerset where Burley Castle where a motte and bailey castle of the late 11th or early 12th century remains to this day. The village and civil parish Burley, or Burley-on-the-Hill, is located two miles north-east of Oakham in Rutland. Burleigh Castle is located near the village of Milnathort, in Perth and Kinross, Scotland and dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. It was held by the Balfours from 1446. Burleigh is also a village in Berkshire, England, within the civil parish of Warfield.

Some of the earliest records of the family include: John Burley (d. 1333), a Carmelite of Stamford; Walter Burley (or Burleigh), (c.1275-1344), a medieval English logician, Master of Arts at Oxford in 1301, and a fellow of Merton College, Oxford until 1305; and Sir Simon Burley (1336-1388), an early English warrior and favourite from a Herefordshire family. "His parentage is uncertain, but he appears to have been a younger brother rather than a son of the Sir John Burley who received the Garter at the accession of Richard II." [1] Because of He was accused and sentenced for abuse of power by the parliament 5 May 1388 and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, which was commuted by the king. He was summarily beheaded the same day. [1]

Early History of the Burleigh family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burleigh research. Another 191 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1437, 1409, 1336, 1388, 1384, 1388, 1388, 1485 and 1510 are included under the topic Early Burleigh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burleigh Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Burleigh have been found, including Burley, Burleigh, Burlie, Burrley, Burrlie, Burrleigh, Burly, Bourley, Bourleigh, Bourly, Berly and many more.

Early Notables of the Burleigh family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Burley, Speaker of the House of Commons of England in March 1437; and John Burley, Sheriff of county Salop in 1409. Sir Simon de Burley (ca.1336-1388), was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burleigh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Burleigh family to Ireland

Some of the Burleigh family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 46 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 Burleigh migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Burleigh, or a variant listed above:

Burleigh Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Abell Burleigh who settled in Virginia in 1652
  • Abell Burleigh, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [2]
Burleigh Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Burleigh, who arrived in Virginia in 1719 [2]
  • William Burleigh, who settled in Virginia in 1729
  • Robert Burleigh, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [2]
  • Francis Burleigh, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773
Burleigh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George William Burleigh, who settled in New York State early in the seventeenth century
  • H Burleigh, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • Annie Burleigh, aged 53, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Burleigh Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charlotte Burleigh, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States from Fermanagh, in 1903
  • Edith Burleigh, aged 30, who landed in America from London, England, in 1907
  • Charles Burleigh, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1909
  • Alston Burleigh, aged 9, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Christian Seath Burleigh, aged 22, who landed in America from Liverpool, England, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Burleigh migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Burleigh Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Fredk Burleigh, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Burleigh, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. John Burleigh U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [3]

New Zealand Burleigh 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:

Burleigh Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Henrietta Burleigh, (b. 1850), aged 20, British general servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1870 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Burleigh (post 1700) +

  • Nina D. Burleigh (b. 1959), American writer and journalist
  • Henry "Harry" Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949), African-American classical composer, arranger, and professional baritone
  • William Burleigh (1785-1827), American politician, United States Representative from Maine
  • Albert Peter Burleigh (b. 1942), American diplomat, US Ambassador to the UN (1997-1999)
  • Walter Atwood Burleigh (1820-1896), American physician, lawyer, and pioneer, who was a non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Dakota Territory
  • James Burleigh (1869-1917), English football whop played from 1890 to 1892 for the Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Michael Burleigh (b. 1955), British Medieval author and historian
  • Very Rev. John Burleigh, British Professor of Ecclesiastical History, of Edinburgh University
  • Charles Burleigh Galbreath (1858-1934), American writer, historian, educator, and librarian
  • Dayton Burleigh Smalley (1878-1958), American politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives, 1937-39; Member of Vermont State Senate, 1941 [5]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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