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

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

The name Bright is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in the village of Bright, in Cheshire. The name could have also been a nickname for someone who was bright or fair, or it could have been from the Old English word beorht which means bright.


The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Bright has been spelled many different ways, including Bright, Brite and others.

First found in Cheshire 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bright research. Another 207 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1882, 1551, 1615, 1619 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Bright History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 59 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bright Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Brights to arrive in North America:

Bright Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Francis Bright who came to Salem, Massachusetts in 1629
  • Francis Bright, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1629
  • Henry Bright settled in New England in 1630
  • Henry Bright, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Henry, Bright Jr., who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1642

Bright Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Michael Bright, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1726
  • William Bright settled in New England in 1747

Bright Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward Bright, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • Robert Bright, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1829
  • Andrew Jackson Bright, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1895


  • William Bright (1928-2006), American Ling Uist, Professor of Linguistics at UCLA (1959-1988)
  • Richard J Bright (1937-2006), American actor, best known for his role as Al Neri in the The Godfather films
  • Jesse David Bright (1812-1875), American politician, 9th Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
  • Ronnell Bright (b. 1930), American jazz pianist
  • Johnny D. Bright (1930-1983), American-born, Canadian CFL football player, inductee into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Susannah "Susie" Bright (b. 1958), American writer, speaker, teacher, audio-show host, and performer
  • Sir Charles Tilstone Bright (1832-1888), British electrical engineer who oversaw the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable
  • Richard Bright (1789-1858), English physician who pioneered research into kidney disease
  • Mark Abraham Bright (b. 1962), English former footballer
  • Mr. Arthur John Bright, aged 41, English Quartermaster from Woolston, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10



  • Looking Back: A Family History (including the Bright Family) and Genealogy of and by Hazel Wise Huffman by Hazel Wise Huffman.

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  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Bright Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bright 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 11 March 2014 at 21:30.

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