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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Burnside family come from? What is the Scottish Burnside family crest and coat of arms? When did the Burnside family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Burnside family history?

Burnside is a name whose ancestors lived among the Picts, a tribe in ancient Scotland. The Burnside family lived in one of the many places by the same name. The name means dweller at the brookside from the Old English work burne which means brook and the word side.

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The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Burnside has been spelled Burnside, Burniside, Burnshed, Burnsyde and others.

First found in Fife, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burnside research. Another 104 words(7 lines of text) covering the years 1650 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Burnside History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Burnside family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 124 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Burnside:

Burnside Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Burnside who settled in Georgia in 1733
  • Harry Burnside, his wife, and seven children, arrived in New York in 1745
  • Joseph Burnside settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1757
  • Margaret Bovey Burnside settled in Charles Town in 1757
  • Thomas Burnside settled in Charles Town in 1767


Burnside Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Thomas Burnside U.E who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 252 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York
  • Mrs. Agnes Burnside U.E who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 310 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York

Burnside Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Sally Burnside arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834
  • Robert Burnside arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834

Burnside Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Jane Burnside, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Trafalgar"

Burnside Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Hugh Burnside, aged 35, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • Mary Burnside, aged 30, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • William Burnside, aged 11, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • Alexander Burnside, aged 8, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • Mary Burnside, aged 4, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874


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  • Ambrose Everett Burnside (1824-1881), American soldier, railroad executive, and politician, the 30th Governor of Rhode Island
  • Maurice Gwinn Burnside (1902-1991), American politician, U.S. Representative from West Virginia
  • Peter "Pete" Willits Burnside (b. 1930), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • John Burnside (b. 1955), Scottish poet, one of only two poets to have won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Poetry Prize for the same book
  • William Burnside (1852-1927), English mathematician
  • Kennedy Burnside, Commissioner of New Zealand Police
  • Adrian Mark Burnside (b. 1977), Australian baseball starting pitcher
  • Julian William Kennedy Burnside AO QC (b. 1949), Australian barrister, human rights and refugee advocate
  • Miss Iris Margaret Burnside (d. 1915), Irish 1st Class Passenger residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada visiting, Ireland, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Josephine Burnside, (née Eaton), Irish 1st Class Passenger residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada visiting, Ireland, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking


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  • Wilson, Burnside, Warnock Families in the United States of America 1660-1969 by Beverly E. Wilson.
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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: Gradatim plena
Motto Translation: Full by degrees.

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  1. 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).
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...

The Burnside Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burnside 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 3 July 2015 at 18:30.

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