This rare and unusual name is locational but certainly not obviously so. It is a dialectal variant of the Old French "Berri" and translates as one who lives by a fortress. The name appears to be prevalent in Pertshire, in the Blairgowrie and Dunkeld districts. One William Borie was living in Rusland in 1626, according to Scottish records, and one William Borrie of Claypotts was mentioned in 1656, in the Commissariot record of Dunblane, Register of Testaments (1539-1800). The name in its "modern" spelling is northern although it is also recorded in early 17th Century London under a bewildering number of variant spellings including Borye (1643) Boary (1604) Borray (1743) and Boree (1756). Raffe Boary married Elizabeth Petenson at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London on October 16th 1604, while Anne Borye married Robart Smith at St. Michael, Cornhill, London on July 30th 1643. Mary, daughter of Paul and Elizabeth Robie was christened on July 30th, 1752 at Bull Lane Independent Stepney, London. In Yorkshire recordings include Anbellay Borray (as spelt) christened on June 14th 1657 at Guiseley, near Leeds, and John Borrie christened at Eston, near Stokesley, on September 28th 1871. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Catherine Borrie, which was dated 1597, married John Robinson at Kiveton Park, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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