English: topographic name for someone who lived beside a stream, e.g. Richard atte Bourne (Sussex 1327), or habitation name from a place named from being beside a stream. The Old English word burna, burne spring, stream, was replaced as the general word for a stream in Southern dialects by Old English brōc and came to be restricted in meaning to a stream flowing only intermittently, especially in winter. A large area of Kent by the Little Stow river was once called Bourn, but this is unlikely to be the origin for most bearers of the surname, which is established in the West Midlands and Staffordshire rather than the South-East.
Variants: Bourn, Burn, Burne; Burns; Born, Borne, Boorne; Burner, Bourner, Bourner.
Cognates: Flemish: Born, Bornman, Vanderborn, Vanderborne. Dutch: Van den Borne, Van den Borre. Low German: Born, Börne, Börner, Bormann, Bornemann. German: Brunner, Brünner; Prunner (Bavaria); Brunnemann. Swedish: Brunn.
Compound (ornamental): Swedish: Brunnberg (well hill).
All bearers of the surname Boorne now living in the British Isles apparently descend from Thomas Boorne (1755-1840) of Deptford, Kent.
Bourne in my family tree
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