Burnie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Burnie is a Dalriadan-Scottish name, no doubt originally for a person who lived in Brennath in Moray, where the name became Birnie. There is also a Birnie in the shire of Elgin. The village of Birnie was originally called Brenuth, from brae-nut, which means "hazel trees". Natives of Birnie, using a local dialect, also called the village Burn-nigh, which means near the burn river. This local name, particularly in medieval times, is prefixed by "de", which means "from." During the Middle Ages, the Birney family became a part of the landed gentry and they wielded considerable prestige and influence in the region of the Scottish borderlands.
Early Origins of the Burnie family
The surname Burnie was first found in Elginshire a former county in northeastern Scotland, in the present day Scottish Council Area of Moray, where Birnie Kirk, a Church of Scotland church built c. 1140 is still found today. It was the first cathedral of the Bishop of Moray. The church is one of the oldest in Scotland to have been in continuous use through the centuries.
Birnie Loch is a man-made loch located in North East Fife from a flooded gravel pit. Birnie Island is a small, uninhabited coral island, 20 hectares in area, part of the Phoenix Island group in central Pacific ocean named after the London firm Alexander Birnie & Co in 1823.
The MacBirnie (MacBurnie and MacBurney) variant was first found in 1466 when David M'Birny was a witness in Kirkcudbright. 
Early History of the Burnie family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burnie research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1261, 1500, 1520, 1591, 1680, 1563, 1619, 1563, 1584 and are included under the topic Early Burnie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Burnie Spelling Variations
Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Burnie has appeared in various documents spelled Birnie, Birney, Birny, Birnye, Byrnye, Byrny, Berney, Birne, Byrne, McBirny, McBirnie, McBurny, McBurnie and many more.
Early Notables of the Burnie family (pre 1700)
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burnie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Burnie family to Ireland
Some of the Burnie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Burnie migration to the United States +
Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Burnie family emigrate to North America:
Burnie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Barbara Burnie, who arrived in New York in 1848 
- Margaret Burnie, who landed in New York in 1848 
- William Burnie, who arrived in New York in 1848 
Contemporary Notables of the name Burnie (post 1700) +
- William Burnie, Australian director of the Van Diemen's Land Company, in the early 1840s, eponym of Burnie, Tasmania
- Robert John Dickson Burnie (1842-1908), English Liberal politician, Member of Parliament for the Swansea Town constituency from 1892 to 1895
- Stuart "Stu" Burnie (b. 1962), Canadian retired professional ice hockey player
- James Burnie MC (1882-1975), English businessman and Liberal Party politician, Member of Parliament for Bootle (1922-1924)
- Burnie Roger Crabtree (b. 1947), American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates, 1975-80, 1983-84 
- Burnie A. Legette (b. 1970), former American NFL football running back for the New England Patriots during the 1993 and 1994 NFL seasons
Related Stories +
The Burnie 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: Sapere aude incipe
Motto Translation: Dare to be wise, begin at once
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ 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)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html