Burruss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Burruss is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Burruss family lived in East Sussex, where Burwash is a civil parish in the diocese of Chichester.

Early Origins of the Burruss family

The surname Burruss was first found in East Sussex at Burwash, a rural village and civil parish in the Rother District which dates back to the 12th century when it was first listed as Burhercse and literally meant "ploughed field by the fort," from the Old English words "burh" + "erse." [1]

Rudyard Kipling lived here for almost half of his life but before that, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the village was known for smugglers and highwaymen. Several smugglers' graves can still be seen in the churchyard of St Bartholomew's. As far as the surname is concerned, the family was descended from the Barons of Burghersh, from whom was descended Sir Bartholomew de Borways (Burghersh) the Elder (d. 1355) (whose successor was Sir Stephen Biorwash. [2]

Lord Bartholomew Burghersh the Younger (d. 1369), son of Bartholomew Burghersh the Elder, adopted his father's profession of arms and rivalled him in military distinction. "His recorded career begins in 1339, when he accompanied Edward III in his expedition to Flanders and took part in the first invasion of French territory." [2]

Henry Burghersh (1292-1340), was Bishop of Lincoln, third son of Sir Robert Burghersh, Lord Burghersh, whose family took their name from Burghersh or Burwash in Sussex. [2]

The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III had two entries for the family: William de Burwarsh, Kent, 20 Edward I; and Henry de Burghersh, Nottinghamshire, 30 Edward I. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Robert de Burgheste in Sussex. [3]

Important Dates for the Burruss family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burruss research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1273 and 1320 are included under the topic Early Burruss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burruss 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 Burwash, Burwasch, Borways, Burghersh, Berwash, Barwash, Burways, Berways, Borghersh and many more.

Early Notables of the Burruss family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Burruss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burruss 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 Burruss or a variant listed above:

Burruss Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Julian Burruss, aged 34, who settled in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1912
  • Rachel Burruss, aged 24, who immigrated to Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1912

Contemporary Notables of the name Burruss (post 1700)

  • Lloyd Earl Burruss Jr. (b. 1957), American former NFL football safety
  • Kandi Burruss (b. 1976), American R&B singer-songwriter and record producer
  • Julian Ashby Burruss (1876-1947), American educator, the first President of James Madison University, eponym of the Burruss buildings at Virginia Tech and James Madison University

Citations

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
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