Recorded as Boret, Borret, Borrett, Borit, Borrott, Burrett, and possibly others, this is an English diminutive surname of pre 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 in what today we might regard as a surname, although that is not how people saw it in those far off times, may be that of Hugo filius Buret, in the register of the abbey of Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, in 1166. The second possible origin is French and English, and certainly a nickname. This is from the word 'boure' meaning rough or shaggy, and 'heafod', a head. 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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