This interesting surname originated as a status name for a freeman of a town, especially one who was a member of its governing council, deriving from the Middle High German "burc", Middle English "burg" meaning (fortified) town plus the suffix "ar" inhabitant; hence "inhabitant of a town". The final "s" indicates the patronymic form. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below). Philip Burgis, appears in the "Register of the Freemen of Leicester" (1199). Noted in the "Cartulary of Oseney Abbey", Oxfordshire, are Philip Burges (1220) and Philip Burgeis (1234). Walter le Borgeys, is registered in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex (1296). In the modern idiom, the surname has many variant spellings including Burgers, Borgers, etc.. Recordings of the variants from the Hampshire church registers include; the marriage of Agnes Burgis to Richard Hurst, on October 15th 1567 at Abbotts Ann; the marriage of Ellyn Bourgis to Thomas Dashe on August 6th 1575, at Wickham; and the christening of Louisa Borgar, daughter of James and Sarah Borgar on October 1st 1820 at St. Mary's, Portsea. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph le Burgeis, which was dated 1195, The Pipe Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Richard 1, "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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