This is an English-Irish name of French Origins. It derives originally from "Britt or Brett", a short nickname form of the descriptive "Breton" and meaning "one who originates from North West France" or possibly "one who behaved or looked like a Breton". To confuse the matter further a resident of the Strathclyde Region of Scotland prior to Circa1300 was called "a Brit" meaning that they came from Ireland. Burt, Birt, Bert or Byrt has been a County Derry (Ulster) name since the 17th Century, but was apparently known in the Dublin area as early as the 13th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Burt, which was dated 1273, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.