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

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

Behind the name Brownridge is a story that begins in the ancient Scottish-English border region among the clans of the Boernician tribe. The Brownridge family lived in or near one of the towns called Brownrigg, or Brownridge, in England. This surname comes from the Old English words brn and hrycg, which mean brown and ridge, respectively. This surname was most commonly found in Yorkshire, however, the places called Brownrigg were found in Cumberland. This indicates that the bearer's of the surname Brownridge possibly moved from Cumberland to Yorkshire at some point.

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Before the printing press and the first dictionaries appeared, names and other words were often spelled differently every time they were written. Brownridge has appeared under the variations Brownrigg, Brownridge, Burnrig, Brownrig and others.

First found in East Lothian, where they held a family seat from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brownridge research. Another 185 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1089, 1592, 1659, 1642 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Brownridge History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 89 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brownridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Brownridge family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 39 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The Scots who crossed the Atlantic were often on the run from poverty as well as persecution. They brought little with them, and often had nothing of their home country to hand down to their children. In the 20th century, Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations have helped the ancestors of Boernician Scots to recover their lost national legacy. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Brownridge were among those contributors:

Brownridge Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Mathew Brownridge settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Math Brownridge, who landed in Virginia in 1637

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  • Fergus Beck Brownridge (1889-1978), Canadian banker and politician


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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: Virtute et sapientia
Motto Translation: By virtue and wisdom.

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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Brownridge Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brownridge 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 26 January 2012 at 08:01.

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