Show ContentsBusewashe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Busewashe family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in East Sussex, where Burwash is a civil parish in the diocese of Chichester.

Early Origins of the Busewashe family

The surname Busewashe 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]

Early History of the Busewashe family

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

Busewashe Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Burwash, Burwasch, Borways, Burghersh, Berwash, Barwash, Burways, Berways, Borghersh and many more.

Early Notables of the Busewashe family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Busewashe family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Busewashe or a variant listed above were: Charles Burwash who arrived in New York in 1765.



  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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