Recorded in the spellings of Berg, Borg, Borge, Burg, and Burgh, this interesting surname is widespread throughout Europe. It is topographical from residence by a prehistoric hill fort or fortified settlement. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Scandanavian (Viking) and Olde English "beorg", and the Olde High German "burg". There are a number of placenames in England with the name. These include Burgh in Suffolk, recorded as "Burc" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Burgh in Lincolnshire, which is recorded as both as "Burg" and "Burch" in the 1086 Domesday Book, the first gazetter in the world. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early recordings in England, which are in most cases the earliest of any surname recordings anywhere, include Geoffrey de Burk of Herefordshire, in 1272, and Hubert de Burk of Somerset, in 1273. The name was introduced into Ireland by William de Burgo, from Burgh in Suffolk, who accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1170, and later succeeded him as Chief Governor. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailricus de Burc, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Suffolk, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087.
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