McBurnie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The story of the McBurnie family is rich with Scottish history. It begins in the ancient kingdom of Dalriada where McBurnie evolved as a name for some who lived in Brennath in Moray, where the name became Birnie. There is also a Birnie in the shire of Elgin. The village of Birnie was originally called Brenuth, from brae-nut, which means "hazel trees". Natives of Birnie, using a local dialect, also called the village Burn-nigh, which means near the burn river. This local name, particularly in medieval times, is prefixed by "de", which means "from." During the Middle Ages, the Birney family became a part of the landed gentry and they wielded considerable prestige and influence in the region of the Scottish borderlands.
Early Origins of the McBurnie family
The surname McBurnie was first found in Elginshire a former county in northeastern Scotland, in the present day Scottish Council Area of Moray, where Birnie Kirk, a Church of Scotland church built c. 1140 is still found today. It was the first cathedral of the Bishop of Moray. The church is one of the oldest in Scotland to have been in continuous use through the centuries.
Birnie Loch is a man-made loch located in North East Fife from a flooded gravel pit. Birnie Island is a small, uninhabited coral island, 20 hectares in area, part of the Phoenix Island group in central Pacific ocean named after the London firm Alexander Birnie & Co in 1823.
The MacBirnie (MacBurnie and MacBurney) variant was first found in 1466 when David M'Birny was a witness in Kirkcudbright. 
Early History of the McBurnie family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McBurnie research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1261, 1500, 1520, 1591, 1680, 1563, 1619, 1563, 1584 and are included under the topic Early McBurnie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McBurnie Spelling Variations
Historical recordings of the name McBurnie include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. Birnie, Birney, Birny, Birnye, Byrnye, Byrny, Berney, Birne, Byrne, McBirny, McBirnie, McBurny, McBurnie and many more.
Early Notables of the McBurnie family (pre 1700)
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McBurnie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the McBurnie family to Ireland
Some of the McBurnie 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.
McBurnie migration to Canada +
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first McBurnies to arrive on North American shores:
McBurnie Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- William McBurnie, who settled in St. John Island in 1775
McBurnie migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
McBurnie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mr. James McBurnie, Scottish convict who was convicted in Dumfries, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia 
Contemporary Notables of the name McBurnie (post 1700) +
- Tom McBurnie, American founder of McBurnie, an American bodywork company best known for their replicas of Ferrari Daytona Spyder
- Beryl McBurnie (1915-2000), Trinidadian dancer who founded the Little Carib Theatre, and promoted the culture and arts of Trinidad and Tobago
Related Stories +
The McBurnie 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: Sapere aude incipe
Motto Translation: Dare to be wise, begin at once
- ^ 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)
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner