The Clan/Sept History
Burke, along with its variants Bourke and de Burgh, is the most common Irish name of Norman origin; over 20,000 Irish people bear the surname The first person of the name to arrive on Ireland was William Fitzadelm de Burgo, a Norman knight from Burgh in Suffock who took part in the invasion of 1171 and succeeded Strongbow as Chief Governor. He received the earldom of Ulster, and was granted territory in Connacht. His descendants adopted Gaelic law and customs more completely the any of the other Norman invaders and quickly became one of the most important families in the country. According to legend the arms of the family originated during the Crusades when King Richard dipped his finger in the blood of a Saracen slain by one of the de Burghs drew a cross on the Saracen's golden shield and presented it to the victor.
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