Burswood is derived from "Burrs-Wood", the name given to his property by the original land holder of the area, Henry Camfield. Camfield named his property "Burrs-Wood" (two 'r's) after his father’s farm in England. The area became known as Burrswood Island in 1841 when a canal was cut through the peninsula so as to shorten the trip to Guildford. The present accepted spelling of "Burswood" is the result of a spelling error by the men who painted the sign for the first railway station in the area (now Rivervale station).

Former Western Australian Premier Dr Geoff Gallop produced a series called Know your Suburb during his time as a Member for Victoria Park. Read the Burswood publication online or ask for a hardcopy at the Library front counter.