Recorded in several spellings including Ditchburn, and the Yorkshire dialectal forms Dutchburn and Dutchbourne, this is today an Anglo-Scottish surname, but of clearly Olde English pre 7th century origins. It is locational from the small village and parish of Ditchburn near Alnwick, in Northumberland. The name consists of two elements, 'dic' meaning a dike or ditch, and 'burna', a stream. However given the position of the village within the for centuries, disputed border country between England and Scotland, it is more likely that originally 'Ditchburn' was a fortress or a defensive wall, and one surrounded by a moat. There are a number of places in England, an example being Ditchampton in Wiltshire, where the name contains the word 'ditch' , and in all cases they are known to refer a defensive position designed to keep warlike opponents at bay! 'Ditchburn' is a 'from' name. This is to say that the nameholders were given the name after they left Ditchburn, and moved elsewhere. Most seem to have gone south into England, where for instance on November 29th 1634, Gabriell Dutchbourne married Mary Raine at Thirsk, Yorkshire. His son was called Gabrill Dutchborn, and his grandson John Dutchburn, who on November 17th 1686, married Mary Gamble, also at Thirsk. A John Ditchburn, said to be 'originally of Cumberland but living for many years in Scotland', was a contemporary of Robert Burns, and his book 'The Deil's reply to Robert Burns, was published in Glasgow in 1793. Other recordings include John Dechborne, who died in London in 1546, and was buried at the church of St. Peter's, Cornhill, and Susannah Ditchborn, who married Jess Riley at St George's Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1776.
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