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Home: Surnames: Bussey Family Genealogy Forum

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BUSSEY < French "boissie" or "little wood"
Posted by: richard brezet (ID *****3284) Date: December 02, 2006 at 17:45:47
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I'm not related to these surnames, but I do a lot of family research. The following may be of some interest to those posting here.
CBC [public] Radio out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has a phone-in hour once a month that deals with family surnames. The guest for the hour is Terrence "Terry" Punch, a certified genealogist with special interest and knowledge about England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and also names from Germany and the French Protestants (Huguenots). People phone in from everywhere (all over the world since the internet made this possible) to ask how to find more about their family surnames.

During the last phone-in on Wed, Nov 29, 2006 a caller was asking about tracing the BUSSEY or BURSEY surname in Newfoundland. One family line may have been in Devon or Cornwall, England ca. 1720 and arrived in Nfld ca. 1751.

Terry Punch says that the original English form of the name was BUSSEY, which came from the French "boissie" (bwah-SEE) or "little wood". Terry had info that the name was often found in Hampshire, in south-west England near the border with Wales. This would all tie in with those on this forum who have said the name was French and likely began with the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Newfoundland was England's oldest colony (founded in 1497, yes 1-4-9-7) and only became part of Canada in 1949, 452 years later. Those who cannot find info about their ancestors in Nfld may have to go back to the General Records Office (GRO) in Kew, London, England. One problem with tracing people in early Newfoundland is that they often came over just during the seasonal cod fishery (from 2 to 5 months, depending on how long the good weather lasted in any particular year). Because the Church of England was the only official religion for centuries, Catholics were officially banned from residing in Newfoundland or establishing churches until the late 19th century, although this was difficult to enforce in such a desolate and isolated place, and was often ignored by most people.

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