Burford Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Burford Family Coat of Arms

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Burford Coat of Arms Meaning

Burford Name Origin & History

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Burford Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Burford blazon are the cross crosslet and bear’s head. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and azure .

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103

The bear is more common in the arms of continental Europe than in British arms (possibly due to the lack of bears native to that country!), although the county of Warwickshire famously includes a bear in its arms. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bear Wade tells us that the bear is the “emblem of ferocity and the protection of kindred”. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P63

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Burford Name

Burford Origin:

England

Origin of Burford:

This fascinating name is of English origin and is a locational name from “Burford” in Oxfordshire. Listed “Beorgfeord” in 752, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and “Bureford” in the Domesday Book 1086, or an area of a similar name in Shrospshire, which was known as “Bureford” in the Domesday Book. The old area was the combination of the components “beorg”, the Ancient English pre-seventh Century word for slope, and “ford”, a Ford. But can also be similar to the latter areas which contain the Ancient English word “burg”, protected area, region (the same element in area names) also the second component “ford”. John de Burreford is listed in the premium Rolls of Sussex in 1327, and William de Berford was a Freeman of York in 1328.

Variations:

More common variations are: Burfford, Beurford, Burrford, Barford, Bruford, Berford, Braford, Burfort, Burfurd, Breford.

England:

The surname Burford has been found in Shropshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Invasion and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Clement de Bureford, dated 1186, in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire. It was during the time of King Henry II who was known to be the “Builder of Churches,” 1154 – 1189. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Burford settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Burford who settled in the United States in the 17th century included William Burford, who came to Virginia in 1637. William Burford, who arrived in Virginia in 1637. George Burford settled in Virginia in 1643. Geo Burford Jr., who landed in Virginia in 1643 and George Burford, who came to Virginia in 1643.

Some of the people with the surname Burford who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Gervaise Burford, who come to Annapolis in 1773 and Edward Burford who settled in Maryland in 1775.

Some of the people with the surname Burford who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Joseph Burford at the age of 54, landed in New York in 1812. Peter Burford, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) Division, Pennsylvania in 1823. Josiah Burford and Eli Burford both arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in the same year in 1844. N Burford, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850.

Australia:

Some of the people with the surname Burford who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Jabez Burford, Rebecca Burford, Emma Burford these all people arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Lady Emma” in the same year in 1837. Thomas Burford and Elizabeth Burford both arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Eden” in 1838.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Burford: United States 6,103; England 3,006; Wales 248; Australia 1,437; New Zealand 161; Canada 339; South Africa 511; Jamaica 161; Scotland 138; France 86.

Notable People:

Anne Gorsuch Burford (1942–2004), was an American lawmaker and a famous politician. Between the years 1981 and 1983, she was known as Anne M. Gorsuch. She served under President Ronald Reagan as the first female head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Byron Burford (1920–2011), was an American painter.

Della Burford (born 1946), was a Canadian actor and author.

Ephraim John Burford (1905–1997), was an English historian and author.

George Burford was an American soccer referee.

Gordon Burford (1919–2010), was an Australian model engine maker and designer.

Lolah Burford (died 2002), was a famous American author.

Nathaniel Macon Burford (1824–1898), was an American politician and lawmaker.

Pamela Burford (born 1954), was an American author.

Priyanga Burford was a British artist and author.

Richard Burford (born 1946), was an American farmer and congressman.

Robert Burford (1791–1861), was an English painter.

Roger Burford (1904–1981), was an English composer, songwriter, and author.

Burford Family Gift Ideas

Browse Burford family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Quarterly, az. and gu. a cross or, in the first and second quarters a crosslet ar.
2) Quarterly, gu. and az. a cross or, in chief two crosses crosslet fitchee ar.
3) (Killeigh, co. Dublin). Ar. three bears’ heads erased sa. muzzled or.
4) (John Burford, Esq., of Kilroy, co. Meath, d. 9 April, 1633. Fun. Ent. Ire.). Ar. a chev. betw. three bears' heads erased sa. muzzled or.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
3. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
4. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bear
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P63