Burrowes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Burrowes family lived in Hampshire. The name was given to settlements located near a hill, and is from the Old English beorg, which means hill. It is from one of many English settlements so named that this family take their name. [1]

Early Origins of the Burrowes family

The surname Burrowes was first found in Hampshire where they were descended from Hubert de Burgh, who became Lord of the Manor of Tichfield in that county.

"Robert de Burgh, Earl of Moreton in Normandy, son of Harlowen de Burgh, by Arlotta, his wife, mother of William the Conqueror, participated with his half-brother in the triumph at Hastings, was created Earl of Cornwall, and received, as a further recompense, grants of seven hundred and ninety-three manors. This potent noble left one son, William Earl of Cornwall, who, rebelling against the first Henry, joined Robert of Normandy, and led the van at the battle of Tenchebray. In this conflict, after displaying great personal valour, he fell into the hands of his opponents and was sent prisoner to England, where he was treated with much cruelty, the king causing his eyes to be put out, and detaining him in captivity for life. " [2]

The township of Middleton in Lancashire is of particular historical importance to the family. "In the reign of Henry III., Hubert de Burgh, (c. 1170-1243) Earl of Kent, Lord Chief Justice of England, had a grant of the whole of Wyresdale, with remainder to his heirs: he left two sons, from one of whom descended the Burghs or Borroughs, of Gainsborough; and it is probable that William de Burgh, of Middleton, who died about 1323, was descended also from the chief justice." [3]

Again in Lancashire another early record was found: William de Burgh, rector of the church of St. Elphin, Warrington, Lancashire in 1374. [4]

John Borough, Burgh or De Burgo (d. 1386), was an English divine, D.D. of Cambridge and rector of Collingham, Nottinghamshire. [5]

"Borough, in Northam [Devon], made ever famous by Kingsley in its association with his Sir Amyas Leigh, was the seat of a family of the same name, which produced at least two very eminent Devonshire seamen Steven and William Borough. Steven Borough, though little known, is entitled to a very honourable place in the list of Devon worthies. Born in 1525, he was master of the largest vessel, the Edward Bonaventure, in Sir Hugh Willoughby's luckless voyage to the Arctic Seas, planned by Cabot, and which would have been an utter failure had not Borough and his comrade, Richard Chancellor, the pilot-major of the fleet, determined to prosecute their voyage after they had been separated from Willoughby by a storm. In 1556, Borough went again to the Northern Seas in a pinnace, to carry forward the intentions of the original expedition, and to find a way by the north-east to Cathay. He made the most remarkable voyage in the annals of Arctic exploration. The little vessel drew only four feet of water. She had for crew only the brothers Borough and eight others; yet she entered the Kara Sea, and reached a point beyond which no navigator went until our own days English, Dutch, and Russian failing each in turn." [6]

Early History of the Burrowes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burrowes research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1472, 1440, 1465, 1472, 1525, 1584, 1525, 1579, 1587, 1536, 1599, 1536, 1643, 1600, 1646, 1630, 1677, 1634, 1663, 1691, 1764, 1713, 1650, 1692, 1243, 1259, 1320, 1271, 1641, 1650, 1641, 1642, 1620, 1685, 1673, 1660, 1709, 1703, 1709 and are included under the topic Early Burrowes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burrowes Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Burrough, Burgh, Borrows, Burrowes, Burroughs, Burrows, Burroughes and many more.

Early Notables of the Burrowes family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Benedict Burgh (fl. 1472), English clerk and translator, Rector of Sandon, Essex, in 1440, Archdeacon of Colchester in 1465, a prebendary of St. Paul's in 1472; Stephen Borough (1525-1584), an English navigator, born on an estate of the some name in the parish of Northam, Devonshire, on 25 Sept. 1525. His son, Christopher Borough (fl. 1579-1587), was the chronicler of one of the most interesting journeys into Persia recorded in the pages of Hakluyt. [5] Stephen's younger brother William Borough (1536-1599), was also an English navigator and author, born at Northam, Devonshire, in 1536...
Another 172 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burrowes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burrowes Ranking

In the United States, the name Burrowes is the 17,017th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Burrowes family to Ireland

Some of the Burrowes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 230 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Burrowes migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Burrowes or a variant listed above:

Burrowes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Burrowes and his wife Bridget, who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Mathew Burrowes, who settled in Maryland in 1634

Canada Burrowes migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Burrowes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Burrowes, who deserted in Halifax in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars
  • James Burrowes, who settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1806
  • James Burrowes, who settled in Ottawa in 1829

Australia Burrowes migration to Australia +

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

Burrowes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Burrowes, English convict from Chatham, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia [8]

West Indies Burrowes migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Burrowes Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Anthony Burrowes, Cornish settler from Jacobstow (Jacobtow), Cornwall, (b. 1614), aged 20, British settler travelling from Plymouth, England aboard the ship "Margarett" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) on 1st March 1634 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Burrowes (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Henry Burrowes (1805-1871), American fourth president of the Pennsylvania State University (1868-1871)
  • Marcus R. Burrowes (1874-1953), American architect in Detroit
  • Thomas Henry Burrowes (1805-1871), American politician, Mayor of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1858 [11]
  • John Freckleton Burrowes (1787-1852), English organist and composer, born in London, 28 April 1787 [12]
  • Thomas Burrowes (1796-1866), English Captain with the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners who was surveyor and overseer during the construction of the Rideau Canal in Ontario, Canada
  • Peter Burrowes (1753-1841), Irish barrister and politician, born at Portarlington [12]
  • Wesley Burrowes (1930-2015), Irish playwright and screenwriter
  • Edward Rupert Burrowes (1903-1966), Guyanese artist and art teacher who founded the Working People's Art Class (WPAC)
  • Norma Burrowes (b. 1944), Irish coloratura soprano
  • Geoff Burrowes (b. 1945), Australian filmmaker best known for the movie The Man from Snowy River (1982)
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II


The Burrowes 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: Animo et fide
Motto Translation: By courage and faith.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1849
  9. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  10. ^ Cornish in the Caribbean (retrieved on 23rd September 2021). Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=gnSFDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA265&lpg=PA265&dq=wallen+lizard+cornwall&source=bl&ots=ARTnm6uRLv&sig=ACfU3U3ewicUaBkTuwC_Gpr0ic-
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019
  13. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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