Select Bush Surname Genealogy

The surname Bush is a topographical one, coming from the Old English busc or buskr, describing someone who lived by a bushy area or thicket.   The German equivalent is Busch and Bushes in America may have German or even possibly Dutch roots.

Select Bush Resources on The Internet

Select Bush Ancestry

England.  An early record of the surname was Richard de la Busce in the Yorkshire pipe rolls of 1181.  The Bush name did seem to have appeared in Yorkshire first.  Later it spread west and south and west.  The 19th century distribution of the name shows one cluster in the west country around Somerset and Gloucestershire and another in London and East Anglia.  

West of England.  Bushes in Bristol were recorded from around 1490.  Paul Bush was the first Bishop of Bristol and his brother John purchased the Edington estate from church lands at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. It seems that these Bushes had come originally from Wiltshire.

East Anglia.  Reynold Bush was a yeoman farmer in Messing in north Essex who emigrated to America in the 1630's.  A William Bush was born in the village of Pebmarsh nearby in 1764.  A later Bush of this village, a farm laborer of the early 1800's, is believed to have been the ancestor of the singer Kate Bush.  And Bushes from Wymondham and Attleborough in Norfolk date from the late 1600's. 

America.  An early Bush in America was of Dutch descent.  Jan Bosch immigrated to what was then New Amsterdam from Holland in 1662.  These Bushes were for many years farmers in upstate New York.  It was Rufus T. Bush who made the first family fortune in the late 19th century from oil refining.  His son Irving made a second fortune through the Bush terminal in Brooklyn and his real estate ventures in New York and London.  

English Bushes.  Early arrivals in America were:
  • Reynold Bush who arrived in Massachusetts in the 1630's from Messing in Essex.  Samuel Bush of Westfield, Massachusetts was his grandson.
  • and William Bush who came to Maryland in 1671 and Richard Bush to Virginia around the same time, from possibly related families.
Although there were connections to Jonathan Fairbanks and Thomas Hinckley of the original Plymouth colony, the Richard Bush who came to Massachusetts in the early 1700's was the first Bush of the line that extended via Obadiah Bush in the early 19th century to the President George W. Bush of today. According to the book The Faith of George W. Bush:

"Obadiah left his home during the War of 1812, became a schoolmaster, then caught gold fever and left for California during the Gold Rush of 1849.  Two years later he tried to return home to reclaim his family and take them west.   He died in the attempt and was buried at sea, leaving his wife and seven children alone in Rochester, New York."

So the Bushes stayed East and went to Yale instead.  Samuel Bush was a close advisor to President Hoover; while Prescott Bush served as Governor of Connecticut, and both his son and grandson became American Presidents.

German Bushes.  Many more German Busches came to America than did English Bushes.  Some like Adolphus Busch, the founder of the Anheuser Busch brewery, kept the Busch spelling.  Others anglicized their name to Bush. 

Among these Bushes were: 
  • The line from Henrik Bosch, an early arrival in New York in 1661, which became Bush sometime in the 1730ís.  
  • Johannes Busch who came to New Berks county, Pennsylvania in the 1730ís (his three brothers settled in Virginia).  These Busches were Bushes by the time of the Revolutionary War.  
  • Conradt Busch who arrived from Germany in 1775, fought in the Revolutionary War, and was Conrad Bush soon afterwards.  
  • Mathias and his family who came to America in 1852 as Busches.  By the time of the 1860 census for Dane county, Wisconsin, they were Bushes.  
Isidor Busch (later Bush) left Vienna for New York after the failure of the 1848 Revolution.  For a short while he published the first Jewish weekly newspaper in America before moving to St. Louis where he developed an interest in vineyards.

Australia.  Two Bush brothers from Norfolk, Arthur and Jeremiah, came to NSW in 1835 and settled in Jerrawa Creek.  Their descendants now number ten generations and they hold regular reunions.  The family story was recounted in E.G. Hazellís 1995 book Re-Generation: A Bush Family Genealogy. 

Jacob Busch emigrated from Germany to Australia in 1855, arriving in Sydney on the Peru and settling in the Hunter Valley.  He dropped the ďcĒ from his surname prior to being naturalized in 1884.

Select Bush Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Bush Names

Irving T. Bush was the real estate developer of the Bush terminal in Brookyn, the Bush Tower skyscraper in New York, and Bush House in London.
George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States.
George W. Bush was the 43rd President of the United States.
Kate Bush has been a highly popular English singer/songwriter.

Select Bushs Today
  • 16,000 in the UK (most numerous in Kent)
  • 28,000 in America (most numerous in Texas) 
  • 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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