Burge, Burges, Burgess, Burgh, Burgeis, Burgis, Burgeys
Burges (by any of these names) were among the earliest arrivals in the American colonies. (Spelling in the colonial days was purely phonetic according to the accent of the speaker or the whim of the writer as there was no standardized spelling at all; a man may have his name spelled three different ways in the same document.)
To do more than name them, however, to really understand them and their stories, we first must look back to their predessors in Britain. But there were many Burges in Britain! To connect the colonial Burges to the right British families takes a bit of detective work. But if we are patient and thorough, we can bit by bit make these connections, with available detail that is abundant and interesting.
To use another metaphor, think of a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes there are pieces here and there that seem unrelated, but when we connect a number of pieces together and then add even just one additional piece, the whole pattern or picture may suddenly become obvious. The genealogical jigsaw puzzle includes many pieces (names, places, wills, ship manifests, court documents, and other and various things) and can look as scattered and confusing as does any other jigsaw when all the pieces are unassembled. It’s our job to put the pieces together in some way that makes a clear picture.
The initial profusion of miscellaneous information need not get us all tangled and confused if we keep a good chronological chart at hand to sort things out.
Such a chart will be provided periodically in this text, adding new details to the chart in italics as they emerge. For example, the first chart will include these particular beginning dates.