Recorded as Boret, Borret, Borrett, Borit, Borrott, Burrett, and possibly others, this is an English diminutive surname of medieval origins, of which it has at least two. The first may be English and Anglo-Saxon, from an ancient pre 7th century a.d. popular personal name "Burgraed." This has the meaning, or at least the literal translation of "Fortress counsel" and in varied spellings such as Burgret, Burred and Burat, appears in the famous Domesday Book of 1068. Its first recording of what today we would regard as a surname, may be that of Hugo filius Buret, in the register of the abbey of Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, in the year 1166. The second possible origin is French and English, and certainly a nickname. This is from the phrase "boure-heafod" meaning shaggy head or possibly rough head, and it would be interesting to know what the precise meaning was as most people in those days appear to have had "shaggy locks". The first recording from this source is possibly of John Bureheved in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. Some two centuries later the spelling seems to have become more rounded or possibly fused with "Burgraed," to give us recordings such as Robert Borrett, in the manor rolls of Sheffield in the year 1403, and in 1524, during the reign of King Henry V111th, that of Henry Boret, in the Subsidy Tax rolls of the county of Suffolk.
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