- This name, with variant spellings Burrough(s), Burrow(s), Burrow, Borrow(s) etc., is of either English topographical or locational origin. In the first instance, the name derives from residence by a hill or tumulus, from the Old English pre 7th Century "beorg", a cognate of the Old High German "berg", hill or mountain. In the second instance, the derivation is from any of the several places called Burrough or Borrow including Burrow Green, (Cambridgeshire) and Burrow on the Hill, (Leicestershire), both so named from the Old English element "burgh", a fort. Burrow in Somerset and Devonshire however recorded as "Beorge" circa 1065 are named from "Beorg", a hill. The surname first appears in the early part of the 14th Century, (see below). Further early recordings include Thomas Burewe, (Somerset, 1327), and John de Burhus (Sheffield, 1440). It has been suggested that the latter recording comes from residence at the bower-house (Old English "bur, hus"). On July 18th 1541, Thomas Borrow married Annes Marshal, at St. Peter, Cornhill, and William Borrow married Elizabeth Grymeslye on November 8th 1542, at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John atte Boroghe, which was dated 1327 - "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 111, "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.
Surnames reference. 2013.