Census Returns


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Analysis of surnames in Shetland Censuses

In the table below the number of persons with the surname Burgar, Burger, Burges and Burgess is shown for each Census year.  In addition, it shows how many of the persons were in Dunrossness.

Surnames

It can be seen that the Burgar surname has virtually died out by 1841.  However, the Burger surname is 51% of the total surnames in 1861 and 16% in 1871.  Thereafter the Burger surname is not recorded.

In summary it can be seen that the Burgar/Burger surname had virtually died out in the mid-1800s, and was replaced by Burges or Burgess.

Location of Burgar/Burgess persons.

It can be seen that the vast majority of the Burgar/Burgess family were resident in Dunrossness in the earlier Censuses but gradually they drifted to other parts of Shetland, in particular to Lerwick.   See the Graph which is below this table.

Census Year Surname Burgar Burger Burges Burgess   Total
               
1841 Total No 7 0 25 65   97
  Dunrossness 7 0 11 53   71
  % Dunrosness 100 0 44 82   73
               
               
1851 Total No 0 0 19 66   85
  Dunrossness 0 0 18 52   70
  % Dunrosness 0 0 95 79   82
               
               
1861 Total No 0 60 18 40   118
  Dunrossness 0 60 16 10   86
  % Dunrosness 0 100 89 25   73
               
1871 Total No 0 21 14 94   129
  Dunrossness 0 20 0 63   83
  % Dunrosness 0 95 0 67   64
               
1881 Total No 0 0 30 74   104
  Dunrossness 0 0 10 44   54
  % Dunrosness 0 0 33 59   52
               
1891 Total No 0 0 14 83   97
  Dunrossness 0 0 0 40   40
  % Dunrosness 0 0 0 48   41
               
1901 Total No 0 0 2 74   76
  Dunrossness 0 0 1 21   22
  % Dunrosness 0 0 50 28   29

 

These figures are taken from the data provided by the Shetland Family History Society.  In their database they have recorded every person as having the surname BURGESS.  However, in some cases they have also provided the actual surname that was on the Census returns.  The data from the Shetland FHS used above is very similar to that in www.ancestry.co.uk.

It seems that the Census takers in the early Censuses used their discretion and used Burges or Burgess as the surname.

 

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