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Burks Coat of Arms / Burks Family Crest

Burks Coat of Arms / Burks Family Crest

The surname of BURKS was a locational name 'the dweller by the birch trees', from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man lived and held land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English word BIRC. Early records of the name mention Richard del Birkes, 1275, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Johannes del Byrkes was recorded in 1327 in the County of Yorkshire. Johannes del Byrkes of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The acquisition of surnames in Europe has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another. Later instances of the name mention Richard Birkes of Oxford who registered at Oxford University in 1607. Edward Birkes married Susanna Selby, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1741. Benjamin Birks married Mary Slater, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1753. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With is helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The name is also spelt BIRKES, BIRK AND BURKE.

The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. ( Burke ).

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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