The surname of BURY was a locational name 'the dweller at the borough' the small town or village. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. Early records of the name mention William atte Bergh, 1273, County Somerset. Geoffrey de la Burg, County Devon, ibid. Thomas Burye and Hannah Parmenter were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1646. Edmund Berry and Mary George were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in the year 1748.
In Old England and during the Middle Ages the name denoted a fortified manor house, and the surname was used for someone who lived near or was employed in a manor house. The word BURH also came to denote a fortified town, and is therefore a habitation name from any of the various place so named. The surname is especially common in County Lancashire, where it is no doubt mainly, if not exclusively a habitation name from the town of this name, but may also be from various other less important places which are similarly named. 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.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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