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

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

The ancestors of the Brawley surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Lincolnshire, where they held estates in the village and parish of Bradley, and from which they derived their family name. The name refers to the local "broad ley" meaning "broad meadow" and for this there are many, many parishes, townships, hamlets with this name throughout England. However, the first record of the name appears in the Poll Tax Records of Lincolnshire where William de Bradelai was listed in 1170.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Brawley include Bradley, Bradlie, Bradleigh, Bradly, Bradeley and others.

First found in Lancashire 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 Brawley research. Another 197 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1596, 1673, 1st and 1628 are included under the topic Early Brawley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brawley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Brawley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Brawley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Brawley, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1812
  • William, Brawley Sr., who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Isabella Brawley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Patt Brawley, aged 32, landed in New York, NY in 1833
  • John Brawley, aged 15, landed in New York, NY in 1850


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  • Benjamin Griffith Brawley (1882-1939), American leading black academic
  • Joel Brawley, American mathematician
  • Robert Brawley, American politician
  • Robert J Brawley (1937-2006), American artist
  • Sean Brawley, Australian historian


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vigilance et audax
Motto Translation: Vigilant and bold.

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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Brawley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brawley 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 11:02.

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