Baby name story: Burgess

Snow & Burgess (sailing ship)
Snow & Burgess

On September 5, 1902, Captain A. H. Sorensen of the five-masted schooner Snow & Burgess and his wife Marie welcomed a baby girl while at sea. Their location at the time was 10°N 117°W — in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles west of Central America.

Sorensen named the baby girl Burgess, after the ship.

The schooner, built in Maine in 1878, had been named after the New York shipping firm Snow & Burgess (est. 1853), which had in turn been named after founders Ambrose Snow and Joseph S. Burgess.

The surname Burgess, used in England and Scotland, means “freeman” (much like the name Charles) and refers to the social status of the original bearer.

P.S. The couple’s second daughter, born in 1903, was named Dagmar after Princess Dagmar of Denmark (Capt. Sorensen’s home country).


Image: Snow & Burgess (public domain)

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