David, you seem to be the person to ask about Burch/Birch genealogy. I am a Birch by birth, though the name spelling wasn't changed until the late 1800s in Minnesota. I am looking for ancestors of Charles Burch, born abt. 1810 in NY. Father was Charles and mother only given as "Betsey" (Elizabeth???)on death certificate. Charles the son married Margaret Tanner, b. abt. 1809. Her birth state is given as NY or Conn. The information I have is that they were married in Dutchess Co., NY and left soon afterwards for Lenawee Co., Michigan. I can trace them starting in 1840 census in Michigan and in 1860 census listings after they moved to Minnesota. But have had no luck in finding back from Charles' birth. I had a professional genealogy researcher check in Dutchess Co. for marriage license or any mention of the Charles b. 1810 and she was unsuccessful.
I was always "told" by the family that the Burches came from England, but no other information. I was interested in your statement that the line from which you are descended is considered the northern Burches and that they almost always tended toward the northern tier of states. It appears my family did the same thing.
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