Show ContentsBurrill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Burrill family

The surname Burrill was first found in North Yorkshire at Burrill, a small village in the Hambleton district that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Borel. [1] It literally meant "hill with a fort," from the Old English words "burh" + "hyll." [2]

"This name is early found upon the Border, particularly in the East Marches. Henry Burel witnessed charter of the church of Pencathlan to the Abbey of Kelso c. 1180. William Bwrel attested a document concerning the land of Cnoc in Renfrew, 1234. William Burel witnessed gift of land in Ayton to William Scot of Coldingham, c. 1250. [3]

Early rolls revealed the name as both a forename and a surname. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Johanna, relicta Burel, Oxfordshire; Burellus de Rathesnese, Norfolk; and Emma Burel, Norfolk. Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Willelmus Burell; and Johannes Borell as both holding lands there at that time. [4]

"Burrell has long been a Lincolnshire name. In Cromwell's time, Sir John Burrell of Dunsby and Redman Burrell, Esq., of Fulbeck, compounded their estates for £687 and £770 respectively (O.). The name is also now found in Norfolk. Burrell was the name of a noted family of Kent and Sussex during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, and one of the Burrells of Beckenham, Kent, was High Sheriff of Kent in 1722; Northumberland is stated to have been the home of the family in the reign of Edward I. " [5]

Farther south in Cornwall, "Burell [in the parish of Saltash] has been the seat of a family of this name for many generations. This residence can be traced back prior to the reign of Edward II. at which period one of them married the co-heiress of Woodland. The present possessor is Arthur Burell, Esq. but he is not known to have descended from the ancient family, who formerly had their seat here." [6]

Over the years, extensions of the root name were found including John Burelman in London in 1311. [7]

Early History of the Burrill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burrill research. Another 278 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1449, 1551, 1285, 1357, 1391, 1477, 1504, 1536, 1482, 1473, 1542, 1544, 1573, 1590, 1589, 1657, 1645, 1653, 1567, 1605, 1567, 1590, 1590 and are included under the topic Early Burrill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burrill Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Burrell, Burrel, Birrell, Burrill, Burril, Birril, Berrill and many more.

Early Notables of the Burrill family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Abraham Burrell (1589-1657), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Huntingdon (1645-1653), supported the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War. Robert Birrel (fl. 1567-1605), was a Scottish diarist and Burgess of Edinburgh. "There is not much minuteness in the record of events till about 1567, when Birrel probably began to keep a note of them. There is no evidence in the 'Diary' regarding the political or religious views of the writer...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burrill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burrill Ranking

In the United States, the name Burrill is the 12,089th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Burrill family to Ireland

Some of the Burrill 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.

United States Burrill migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Burrill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C. Burrill, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Ellen Burrill, aged 36, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
Burrill Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Fred Burrill, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States from Leeds, in 1905
  • Edward L. Burrill, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Eleanor L. Burrill, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Alice Burrill, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Elizabeth Burrill, aged 41, who landed in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Burrill migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Burrill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Boyser Burrill, (b. 1816), aged 14, English errand boy who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Florentia" on 11th August 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]

New Zealand Burrill 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:

Burrill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Burrill, (b. 1843), aged 20, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Burrill (post 1700) +

  • Mary P. Burrill (1881-1946), American female playwright and educator
  • Dr. Meredith F. Burrill, American Executive Secretary of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, 1943-1973, eponym of Mount Burrill, Antarctica
  • Truman N. Burrill (1832-1896), American Chief of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (1883-1885)
  • Charles Lawrence Burrill (1862-1931), American banker and politician, Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts (1915-1920)
  • James Burrill Jr. (1772-1820), American politician, United States Senator from Rhode Island (1817-1820), 31st Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (1816-1817), 45th Attorney General of Rhode Island (1816-1817), eponym of Burrillville, Rhode Island
  • Thomas Jonathan Burrill (1839-1916), American botanist who first discovered bacterial causes for plant disease, professor of botany and horticulture at University of Illinois
  • James Burrill Jr. (1772-1820), American politician, Member of Rhode Island State House of Representatives; Speaker of the Rhode Island State House of Representatives, 1814-16; U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, 1817-20 [11]
  • J. Burrill, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1948 [11]
  • Howard W. Burrill, American politician, Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Monroe, 1956 [11]
  • Charles Lawrence Burrill, American Republican politician, Massachusetts State Treasurer, 1915-20 [11]
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. 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)
  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. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  7. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th October 2022).
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  11. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook