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Home: Surnames: McBurney Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: MCBURNEY - general information request
Posted by: William J. McBurney, Jr. (ID *****8053) Date: May 04, 2009 at 11:50:45
In Reply to: MCBURNEY - general information request by Karin Endemann of 440

Karin Endemann, I responded to something Michelle Hanchey said in reply to you, and then I realized that it sort of answered your original question, so here is what I said:

"You mention "Bernie Hills" but I think what you are referring to is actually Birnie's Hill.
An area on the west bank of the river Tay north of Edinburgh and just below Perth is labelled Birnie's Hill on a Scottish map I saw in another search.
I learned that Birnie is the way the local people pronounced the name Bjorn which is Norse for bear.
Bjorn might have been one of the Vikings who were going up every river in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe in their long boats very heavily in the period 900 to 1100 A.D.
Birnie became MacBirnie in subsequent generations but so far as I can tell the spelling changed to McBurney in Northern Ireland following the migration of many Scots after the Plantation Act of 1603. Later quite a few with the McBurney spelling came back to Scotland to live."

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