The surname of BORGES was originally an English name - the dweller at the bower-house a variant of the name Burgess. During the middle ages it was customary for a man to take the name of the land that he owned, or where he lived. This name would identify the whole family, and followed them wherever they moved. The name is now numerous in Ulster, but was little known in Ireland before the 17th century, where it has been gaelicized to Brugha. Early records of the name mention Hawise Burgege, who was documented in the County of Bedford in 1273. Adam Burgess of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Burges, was recorded in 1519 in Norwich. Edward Burgis and Maude Goorde were married at St. Antholin, London in the year 1614. For the majority of the English speaking peoples, the main sources of names have been the traditions of the various Germanic tribes of Northern Europe, and the names introduced by the Church, perhaps Hebrew names of the Old Testament, or Greek and Roman names of the New Testament and saints. Many names were brought over to England by the invading Anglo-Saxons, a mixed collection of people from various Germanic tribes, speaking various dialects which were called Old English.
A very notable member of the name was Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess (1910-63). He was the English spy and traitor, son of a naval officer. He was educated at Eton, Royal Navy College, Dartmouth, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became a communist. He was recruited as a Soviet agent in the 1930's, and he worked for the BBC, whilst ostensibly serving the M15. After the war he was a member of the foreign office, and finally second secretary under Kim Philby in Washington. Recalled in 1951 for 'serious misconduct' he, together with Donald McLean, disappeared to the Soviet Union in 1951, where he died. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.