Recorded in several spellings including Burghall and Burghill, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the vlllage of Burghill in the county of Herefordshire, the earliest recording of the place name being that of 'Burgelle' in the 1086 Domesday Book. Later in 1169 it was recorded as Burgill, from which it is easy to see how the later surname forms developed. The place name and hence the surname means 'The Hill Fortress' from the Olde English pre 7th century 'burg-hyll'. It is said that the surname is also recorded in Germany, and this is quite likely. The association between the Anglo-Saxon's of German origin, and Germany itself, is such that many words of topographical description in particular are interchangeable. However it must be said that this is a rule of thumb to be used with caution, as many surnames of the same spelling but found in different languages, may well have quite different translations. It is not clear as to when the surname was first recorded. Locational surnamers being 'from' names, that is to say name given to people after they left their original village, are almost always better recorded elsewhere. In this case we have a number of recordings in the original surviving registers of the diocese of Greater london. These include: Robert Birghill, whose daughter Bridget was christened at St Olaves church, in the city of London, on June 1st 1631, whilst Edmund Burghall, married Mary Mory at St James church, Dukes Place, Westminster, on September 1st 1690.
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