This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of the more familiar Burrows, itself a topographical name with three possible sources. Firstly, Burris may derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "beorg", hill, mountain, tumulus, cognate with the Old High German "berg", denoting residence by a hill or grave-mound. Burrow in Somerset and Devonshire were so called from the above element, and in some cases, the surname may be locational from either of these places (with the locative genitive "-s").The second source of Burris/Burrows is the Olde English "burg, burh", fortified place, fort, indicating residence by an ancient British or pre-Roman fort. Burrow in Leicestershire and Lancashire are named with this element and may also have given rise to the surname. Finally, the Olde English "bur", bower, small cottage, and "hus", house, may be the source of the surname. In 1440, one John de Burhus was noted in a Descriptive Catalogue of Sheffield Manorial Records. The name is now variously spelt: Burroughes, Burrows, Burrus, Burris(s), Burras(s) and Burhouse. On March 27th 1558, Jane, daughter of Georgii Buris, was christened at Cantley, Yorkshire, and on April 20th 1766, Sarah Burris and John Jackson were married at St. Nicholas', Liverpool, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Burewe, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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