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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Brathwaite family come from? What is the Scottish Brathwaite family crest and coat of arms? When did the Brathwaite family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Brathwaite family history?

Among the all the peoples of ancient Scotland, the first to use the name Brathwaite were the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in any of the places so named in Cumberland or Yorkshire. This place-name derived from the Old Norse words for a broad clearing.

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The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Brathwaite has appeared as Brathwaite, Brathwait, Braithwaite, Braithwait and many more.

First found in Cumberland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brathwaite research. Another 251 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1185, 1588 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Brathwaite History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 39 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brathwaite Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Brathwaite Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Matthew Brathwaite, who arrived in America in 1760-1763

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  • Errol Brathwaite (1924-2005), New Zealand author
  • Fredrick "Fred" Brathwaite (b. 1972), Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender
  • Sir Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite (b. 1925), Prime Minister of Grenada from 1983 to 1984 and from 1990 to 1995
  • Ryan Brathwaite (b. 1988), Olympic track and field athlete from Barbados
  • Normand Brathwaite (b. 1958), Quebec comedian, movie and television actor
  • Stephen Brathwaite (b. 1949), Canadian actor and puppeteer best known for his puppet work in the children's series Under the Umbrella Tree


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  4. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  11. ...

The Brathwaite Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brathwaite Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 31 October 2012 at 11:03.

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