Burton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Burton is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Burton family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Burton family lived in Burton which is the "name of no less than forty parishes and places in England." [1] The name literally means "fortified enclosure" or "fortified farmstead." [2]

Early Origins of the Burton family

The surname Burton was first found in Shropshire where they were descended conjecturally from Drogo de Beuvriere a kinsman of William the Conqueror who held lands at Burton Agnes, Burton Constable and a manor house or castle at Burton Pidsea.

The surname "is derived from Boreton, in the parish of Condover, in Shropshire, an estate which remained in the family until the reign of James I. 'Goiffrid de Bortona' (Burton,) one of the foresters of Shropshire, in the reign of Henry I., is the first recorded ancestor." [3]

Another branch of the family was found at Dalton in Lancashire in early times. "At the time of the Domesday Survey, the manor was held by a Saxon chief named Gilmichael, and it was afterwards annexed to the manor of Burton; soon after the time of Richard I. it seems to have been granted to the family of Burton." [4]

"William Burton, the antiquary, and his brother Robert, author of the Anatomy of Melancholy, were natives of [Lindley, Leicestershire], the former born in 1575, and the latter in 1576." [4]

William of Berton, (fl, 1376), was Chancellor of Oxford in 1380. "Berton's Chancellorship is important because of its connection with the Wycliffite controversy respecting the sacrament which then agitated Oxford. " [5]

Early History of the Burton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burton research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1350, 1300, 1354, 1600, 1853, 1661, 1656, 1659, 1632, 1681, 1575, 1645, 1622, 1609, 1682, 1668, 1714, 1748, 1953 and are included under the topic Early Burton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burton Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Burton have been found, including Burton, Birton, Byrton, Burtone and others.

Early Notables of the Burton family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Burton (died 1661), of Brampton Hall, Westmorland, English MP for Westmorland from 1656 to 1659; Hezekiah Burton (1632-1681), an English theologian; William Burton (1575-1645), an English antiquarian, best known as the author of the...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Burton World Ranking

In the United States, the name Burton is the 227th most popular surname with an estimated 114,402 people with that name. [6] However, in Canada, the name Burton is ranked the 387th most popular surname with an estimated 12,048 people with that name. [7] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Burton is the 70th popular surname with an estimated 385 people with that name. [8] Australia ranks Burton as 216th with 15,451 people. [9] New Zealand ranks Burton as 252nd with 2,399 people. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Burton as 135th with 37,269 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Burton family to Ireland

Some of the Burton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Burton migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Burton were among those contributors:

Burton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Burton, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607 [12]
  • Richard Burton who settled in Virginia in 1624
  • Richard Burton, who landed in Virginia in 1624 [12]
  • Boniface Burton, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1632 [12]
  • Bryan Burton, who landed in Virginia in 1645 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Burton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Burton, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [12]
  • Henry Burton, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [12]
  • Samuel Burton, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [12]
  • Charles Burton, who arrived in America in 1722 [12]
  • Thomas Burton, who arrived in South Carolina in 1735 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Burton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Burton, who landed in Maryland in 1807 [12]
  • John Burton, who landed in America in 1811 [12]
  • Joseph Burton, aged 55, who landed in New York in 1812 [12]
  • Joseph Burton, who settled in Portland Maine in 1820
  • Thomas Burton, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1821 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Burton Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. William A. Burton, (b. 1885), aged 19, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 22nd May 1904 en route to New York, USA [13]
  • Henry Charles Burton, who landed in Alabama in 1922 [12]

Canada Burton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Burton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Burton, who settled in St. John's and was Constable of Bonavista, Newfoundland in 1706 [14]
  • Daniel Burton, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Richard Burton, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Robert Burton, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Benjamin Burton, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Burton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ally Burton, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • John Burton, aged 27, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Maria" from Cork, Ireland
  • John Burton, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Australia Burton migration to Australia +

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

Burton Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Ms. Rachael Burton, (b. 1744), aged 46, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 14th January 1790, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a beaver coat, transported aboard the ship "Pitt" on 17th July 1791 to New South Wales, Australia [15]
Burton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Burton, (Barton), (b. 1798), aged 21, English farm labourer who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1840 [16]
  • William Burton, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. James Burton who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • Mr. John Burton, British Convict who was convicted in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the " Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Mr. William Burton, British Convict who was convicted in Ely (Isle of Ely), Cambridge, England for 7 years, transported aboard the " Dunvegan Castle" on 13th March 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Burton 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:

Burton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Burton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Burton, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1840
  • Richard Burton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Oriental
  • James Burton, aged 51, a smith, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Burton, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Burton 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. [19]
Burton Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Jo Burton, aged 17, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [12]
  • Mr. Thomas Burton, (b. 1616), aged 19, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [20]
  • Mr. John Burton, (b. 1618), aged 17, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [21]
  • Mr. George Burton, (b. 1612), aged 23, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [22]
  • John Burton, who settled in Barbados with his wife Elizabeth and son Charles in 1678

Contemporary Notables of the name Burton (post 1700) +

  • Richard Burton CBE (1925-1984), Welsh born actor, nominated seven times for Academy Awards [23]
  • Wendell Ray Burton (1947-2017), American television executive and former actor, best known for his co-starring role with Liza Minnelli in the movie The Sterile Cuckoo (1969)
  • Tirrel Burton (1930-2017), American football player, coach, and radio broadcaster
  • Anthony "Tony" Burton (1937-2016), American actor, comedian, boxer and football player, best known for his role as Tony "Duke" Evers in the Rocky franchise
  • Gabrielle Burton (1939-2015), American feminist novelist and screenwriter, known for her novel "I’m Running Away From Home but I’m Not Allowed to Cross the Street: A Primer of Women’s Liberation"
  • George Aubrey Burton Jr., (1926-2014), American Certified Public Accountant, Finance Commissioner of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana (1971-1978)
  • Raymond S. "Ray" Burton (1939-2013), American politician, New Hampshire Executive Council District 1 (1977-1979)
  • Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. (b. 1957), American actor, director, producer and author better known as LeVar Burton [24]
  • Harold Hitz Burton (1888-1964), American lawyer, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1945-58) [25]
  • James Burton (b. 1939), American guitarist and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2001 [26]
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mrs. Lorraine Eileen Burton (1939-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Wellington, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [27]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald D. Burton, British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [28]
  • John William Burton (1915-1939), British Leading Stoker with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [28]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Edward John Burton (d. 1912), aged 32, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [29]
SS Caribou
  • Mr. F. E. Burton, British passenger who was Royal Air Force was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he survived the sinking


The Burton 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: Lux vitae
Motto Translation: The Light is my guide.


Suggested Readings for the name Burton +

  • Family of John M. Burton and Sarah Whitmore Burton by Broadus McAfee.
  • Our Courageous Ancestors: Facts and Fables, 1600-1974 by Marie Erwin Detty.
  • Notes on the Richard and John Burton Families, New York and Massachusetts, 1850-1973 by John Bradley Arthaud.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  8. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  14. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  15. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dunvegan-castle
  19. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  20. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  21. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  22. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  23. ^ Richard Burton. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Richard Burton. Retrieved from http://www.richardburton.com
  24. ^ Levardis Burton. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Levardis Burton. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LeVar_Burton
  25. ^ Harold Burton. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Harold Burton. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Hitz_Burton
  26. ^ James Burton. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) James Burton. Retrieved from http://www.james-burton.net/portal/index.php
  27. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  28. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  29. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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