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

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

The ancestors of the Brooks family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Essex. The name, however, derives from the family's former residence in Broc, in the area of Anjou, France.


Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Brooks were recorded, including Brook, Brooke, Brookes, Brooks, Brecks, Broocks and others.

First found in Essex where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brooks research. Another 455 words(32 lines of text) covering the years 1119, 1214, 1592, 1660, 1512, 1560, 1532, 1560, 1569, 1563, 1545, 1660, 1614, 1643, 1664, 1602, 1655, 1652, 1608, 1680, 1685, 1646, 1648, 1632, 1676, 1601, 1683, 1685 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Brooks History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 279 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brooks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Brooks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 235 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Brooks arrived in North America very early:

Brooks Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Cutberd Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Sibile Brooks, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Henry Brooks of Boston, Massachusetts, who settled in 1630
  • Gilbert Brooks, who landed in New England in 1633
  • William Brooks, who landed in New England in 1633

Brooks Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robin Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Fra Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Margaret Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1717
  • Benja Brooks, who landed in Virginia in 1720
  • Fran Brooks, who landed in Georgia in 1738

Brooks Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Peter Brooks, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Thomas, Brooks Jr., aged 19, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Brooks, who landed in New York in 1822
  • Robert Brooks, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • James Brooks, who arrived in New York in 1822

Brooks Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Sam D Brooks, who arrived in Arkansas in 1903


  • Edward Schroeder Brooks (1867-1957), Republican member of the American House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. He served in the Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses
  • Rodney Brooks (b. 1954), director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
  • Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (1917-2000), award-winning African American woman poet. In 1950, she won Poetry magazine’s "Eunice Tietjens" Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, the first given to an African American
  • David Allen Brooks (b. 1947), American film and television actor still active after more than 35 years in the business
  • Troyal Garth Brooks (b. 1962), American country music singer-songwriter and charity director who broke records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the 1990s
  • Albert Brooks (b. 1947), Academy Award-nominated American actor, writer, comedian and director who influenced other 70's post-modern comedians, including Steve Martin, Martin Mull and Andy Kaufman
  • Van Wyck Brooks (1886-1963), Pulitzer Prize winning (History, 1937) American writer and historian
  • Richard Brooks (1912-1992), award-winning American screenwriter, director, and novelist
  • Mel Brooks (b. 1926), Academy Award-winning American actor, writer, director and producer best known as a creator of broad film farces and comedy parodies. Three of his films are on the American Film Institute's list of funniest American films
  • Aaron Brooks (b. 1976), American football quarterback



  • Brooks Family History by Bernice Brooks Casey.
  • The Brooks of Virginia by Bruce Montgomery Edwards.

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: Perseverando
Motto Translation: By persevering.


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  1. 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).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Brooks Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brooks 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 12 September 2014 at 13:58.

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