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The Genealogy of the Burley or Burleigh Family of America

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Charles Burleigh
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Justice to myself and others has induced me to present this work in its unfinished state; The compilation has occupied a period of Six years of labor, carried on through discouraging words from some, and with little, or long-delayed, aid from others. Surnames originated about rsoo a.d., and middle names were not universally used much previous to 1780. Men were named from their father, or from some peculiarity of person. If a man named John had a son Peter, he would be called Peter Johnson, his son would bear the name of Peterson. If he was deformed in any way, the name indicating his deformity would be used as a middle name, as Peter Hunchback Johnson. Our name is an ancient one, having originated in England. It may have been derived from Burler, a dresser of cloth, Burly, boisterous, or compounded from Bur, Burgh, elevated, and ley, meaning um tilled grouhd; Viz. High and untilled ground. Burgh also means a fortification, a castle, and ley, leigh, means a field, viz a castle on the field, or defence of the lowly. The variations in spelling the name have been Burleigh, Borleigh, Burghly, Burghley, Birgeley, Burley, Berley, Birley, Burlie, Burle, Burlly, Bourle, Burly, Budley, Burdley, Berdley, Birdley, Birdly, Bodley, Borley, Barley, Burles, Beareley, Brally, Bralley, Bowley, Burhely, and perhaps Burleson and Burlison. Burleigh is the more mod em, and I would suggest that it be continued, though Burley is the most common orthography in England to-day.

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