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The Irish Rose

Burke Name History

Burke Irish Coat of Arms


Burke is an English variant of the English and Irish surname originating from the Anglo-Normans. In Old English, the name means "fortified hill." Many Irish and English emigrants to Quebec and other francophone regions of Canada chose to change the spelling of the name to Bourque. Burke is an uncommon given name. Several localities around the world have been named Burke.

Variant spellings of the Irish surname Burke: De Burgh, De Burgo, Burgh, Bourke, Burk, Bourk, McGillick, Gillick, Bourque.

Find out more details about the Burke coat of arms

You can learn more details about the Burke surname through the Framed Irish Family Name History product (#1760). We also offer other Burke coat of arms products at The Irish Rose. See them all on our Irish Coat of Arms page.

Find Burke Pub in Ireland

There are a few pubs in Ireland that boast the Burke name. Make sure you stop for a pint on your next trip.

If you can't visit in person, our personalized pub gifts are the next best thing!

Notable people named Burke


  • Adrian P. Burke (1904-2000), New York judge
  • Alafair Burke, mystery novel writer and Court TV commentator, daughter of James Lee Burke
  • Alexandra Burke, winner of the fifth series of British show the X Factor
  • Alvin Burke, Jr., professional wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment
  • Anna Burke, Australian politician
  • Arleigh Burke, former Admiral of the United States Navy and Chief of Naval Operations
  • Augustus Nicholas Burke, Irish painter


  • Sir John Bernard Burke, British genealogist, editor of Burke's Peerage
  • Bill Burke (athlete) (born 1969), American middle distance runner
  • Brian Burke, Australian politician
  • Brian Bourke, Irish Political Theorist noted for his "Red Pride" campaign
  • Brian Burke (ice hockey), GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Brian Burke (Wisconsin politician), American politician
  • Brooke Burke, actress and model


  • Cheryl Burke, professional dancer
  • Clem Burke, drummer for the group Blondie


  • Declan Burke, English musician
  • Delta Burke, actress
  • Dominic Burke (bishop), Bishop of Elphin from 1671 to 1704
  • Don Burke, Australian television personality
  • Douglas Burke, American water polo player


  • Edmund Burke, Anglo-Irish statesman and political philosopher
  • Edmund Bourke (1761–1821) (or Burke), Danish statesman
  • Elijah Burke, American professional wrestler


  • Frank W. Burke, Louisville mayor and U.S. Representative from Kentucky


  • Sir Henry Burke, British genealogist, Garter Principal King of Arms


  • James Burke (science historian), British author and television producer
  • James A. Burke, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts
  • James Lee Burke, American author and mystery writer
  • Jamie Burke, Major League Baseball catcher for the Seattle Mariners
  • Jason Burke, author
  • Joe Burke (keyboardist) (born 1939), Irish accordion player
  • Joe Burke (baseball) (1924-1992), baseball executive
  • Joe Burke (composer) (1884-1950), American actor, composer and pianist


  • Kathy Burke, English actress, comic and theatre director
  • Kenneth Burke, American literary theorist and philosopher
  • Kevin Burke (musician), Irish fiddler


  • Leon Burke III, American musician


  • Matt Burke, Australian rugby union footballer
  • Mick Burke, English rugby league footballer


  • Pat Burke, Irish basketball player
  • Patrick Burke (bishop), Bishop of Elphin from 1827 to 1843
  • Paul Burke (actor), American actor
  • Peter Burke, British historian


  • Raymond Burke (clarinetist), New Orleans jazz clarinetist
  • Raymond Leo Burke, U.S. Catholic prelate, former Archbishop of St. Louis
  • Robert O'Hara Burke, Australian explorer


  • Séamus Burke, Irish politician
  • Sean Burke, NHL goalie for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Solomon Burke, soul singer ("Everybody Needs Somebody to Love")
  • Sonny Burke (1914-1980), American musician


  • Terry Burke, Australian politician
  • Tony Burke, Australian politician


  • Walter Burke, American actor
  • William Burke, one of the two West Port murderers
  • William H. Burke, American college football coach
  • William J. Burke (1862-1925), English-born American politician and businessman
  • William L. Burke (1941–1996), American college professor

Fictional characters

  • Burke, a character from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Burke, the antihero protagonist of the Burke Series of novels by Andrew Vachss
  • Amos Burke, main character in Burke's Law, played by Gene Barry
  • Carter J. Burke, a character from the 1986 film Aliens
  • Clyde Burke, a newspaper reporter and one of the agents of The Shadow.
  • Hazel Burke, Shirley Booth's lead character on the NBC/CBS televisioh series, Hazel
  • Juliet Burke, a character from the TV series Lost
  • Peter Burke, a character from the TV series White Collar
  • Leslie Burke, a character from Bridge to Terabithia
  • Preston Burke, a character on Grey's Anatomy
  • Robert Burke, a hunter and dinosaur expert in the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  • Walter Burke, a character, played by Al Pacino in "The Recruit"
  • Officer Thomas Burke, a character, played by Michael Landes in "Final Destination 2"

de Burgh

  • Chris de Burgh (born 1948), musician and songwriter
  • Edmond Albanach de Burgh (d. 1375), Lord of Connaught
  • Elizabeth de Burgh (circa 1289-1327), Scottish royal consort
  • Elizabeth de Burgh, 4th Countess of Ulster (1332-1363), Earl in the Peerage of Ireland
  • Ernest Macartney de Burgh (1863-1929), Irish-born Australian civil engineer
  • Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent (circa 1180-1243), Justiciar of England and Ireland
  • Hubert de Burgh (cricketer) (1879-1960), Irish cricketer and Royal Naval Officer
  • Hugo de Burgh (21st century), British journalism theorist and academic
  • John de Burgh (1286–1313) (1286-1313), Irish murder victim
  • John de Burgh, 13th Earl of Clanricarde (1744-1808), Irish nobleman and politician
  • John Thomas de Burgh (1744-1808), English cricketer
  • Jon de Burgh Miller (21st century), English science fiction writer
  • Richard Mor de Burgh (circa 1194-1242), eldest son of William de Burgh
  • Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster (1259-1326)
  • Thomas de Burgh (1670–1730), Irish soldier, architect and politician
  • Ulick de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde (1802-1874), British Whig politician
  • Walter de Burgh, 1st Earl of Ulster (circa 1230-1271), founder of Athassel Priory
  • William de Burgh (1157-1206), Lord of Connaught
  • William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster (1312-1333), noble in the Peerage of Ireland
  • William Og de Burgh (died 1270), Irish chieftain
  • William de Burgh (MP) (1741–1808), Irish theologian, politician and anti-slavery campaigner

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