Meaning and Name Origin
Burgess \b(u)-rge-ss, bur-gess\ as a boys' name is of Old French origin, and the meaning of Burgess is "freeman of a borough". Transferred use of the surname, in origin a status name from the Old French "burgeis", which is derived from the German "burg" meaning "town". Actor Burgess Meredith; poet Gelett Burgess.
For more information, see also the related boy name Burroughs.
Burgess is an uncommon first name for men but a very popular surname for all people (#346 out of 88799, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of the boy name Burgess and corresponding names. The only prominent varying form of Burgess (#unlisted) ranked in the Top 1000 is Burr. Adoption of this boy name reached its apex during 1880-1889 and is now significantly lower, with the version Burr becoming less fashionable. (2014 Birth Statistics)