This surname of BURGETT is a German, Dutch, Flemish and English status name for a freeman of a town, especially one who was a member of its governing council. It is a derivative of the Middle German word BURG (fortified town). In England it is found as a surname from the 13th century onwards. The usual English term was Burgess. The name also occurs as a Jewish surname, but the reasons for its adoption are uncertain. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. The name has many variant spellings which include De Burger, Borger, Burgher, Burker, Burgers and Borgers. Early records of the name in England mention Edwin de la Burge who was documented in County Surrey in the year 1199. Robert de la Burge, was recorded in 1200 in the county of Hampshire and William Burge of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. James Jemmett married Elizabeth Burge at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1798. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. A notable member of the name is Warren Earl Burger, born in 1907. He was the American judge, educated at the University of Minnesota, he taught and practiced law from 1931, before becoming assistant attorney-general of the USA (1953) and in 1955 judge of the US Court of Appeals. He was appointed chief justice of the US Supreme Court in 1969 and showed himself inclined to judicial restraint, restricting the liberal tendencies followed in previous years.
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