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

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

The ancestry of the name Brightwell dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in either of the settlements named Brightwell in Berkshire or Suffolk, or in the place called Brightwell Baldwin in Oxfordshire.

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Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Brightwell have been found, including Brightwell, Brightwelle, Britewell, Brihtwell, Brictewell, Brichtewell, Brichwell and many more.

First found in Oxfordshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brightwell research. Another 557 words(40 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1205, 1221, 1273, 1439, 1500, 1675, 1787, 1806, 1811, 1811 and 1875 are included under the topic Early Brightwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Brightwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Brightwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Brightwell, or a variant listed above:

Brightwell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Charles Brightwell, who landed in Virginia in 1660
  • Richard Brightwell, who landed in Maryland in 1663

Brightwell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Roynold Brightwell, who landed in Virginia in 1705

Brightwell Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Constance Brightwell, aged 9, who emigrated to the United States from Colchester, England, in 1912
  • Emma Brightwell, aged 34, who settled in America from Colchester, England, in 1912
  • Evaline Brightwell, aged 7, who emigrated to the United States from Colchester, England, in 1912
  • George Brightwell, aged 37, who landed in America from Colchester, England, in 1912
  • Kate Brightwell, aged 44, who emigrated to America from Plymouth, England, in 1922

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  • Juanita Brightwell, American educator
  • Ian Robert Brightwell (b. 1968), English former footballer
  • Robert "Robbie" Ian Brightwell MBE (b. 1939), India-born English former Olympic track and field athlete
  • David John Brightwell (b. 1971), English former professional footballer
  • Paul Brightwell, English actor
  • Stuart Brightwell (b. 1979), English football midfielder
  • Graham Brightwell, Professor of Mathematics at the London School of Economics
  • Arthur Harry Brightwell (b. 1932), member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1984 to 1993


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  1. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Brightwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brightwell 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 24 August 2012 at 08:02.

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