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

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

The name Brereton reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Brereton family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Brereton family lived in Staffordshire. They lived in this area on estates at Brereton Manor, from which they took their name. Other records show that Brearton was a village in the parish of Knaresborough in Yorkshire and Brereton was a village three miles from Sandbach, Chester.

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Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Brereton, Breereton, Breeretoun, Breeretoune, Breriton and many more.

First found in Cheshire at Brereton, a civil parish, containing the hamlets of Brereton Green and Brereton Heath. Brereton dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Bretone and literally meant "farmstead amongst the briars," having derived from the Old English words brer + dun. [1] At that time, Gilbert de Venables held the lands of Brereton which was large enough for 4 ploughs and held 1 acre of meadow. [2] Brereton Hall, built for Sir William Brereton (1550-1631) is a country house north of the village of Brereton Green.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brereton research. Another 207 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1631, 1604, 1661, 1611, 1664, 1661, 1664, 1631, 1680, 1659, 1718, 1691 and 1722 are included under the topic Early Brereton History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 181 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brereton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Brereton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 47 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Brereton name or one of its variants:

Brereton Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Brereton settled in Maine in 1602
  • John Brereton, who arrived in Virginia in 1602
  • John Brereton who settled in Barbados in 1654
  • Geo Brereton, who landed in Virginia in 1695

Brereton Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • J T Brereton, who landed in Alaska in 1898

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  • Lieutenant-General Lewis Hyde Brereton (1890-1967), American Secretary General of the Air Board, Washington, D.C. (1948)
  • Mr. George Andrew Brereton, (alias George A. Brayton), aged 37, American First Class passenger from Los Angeles, USA who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 9
  • Thomas Brereton (1782-1831), Irish soldier, who led the Dragoons against the rioters during the Bristol Riots
  • Laurence John "Laurie" Brereton (b. 1946), Australian politician, member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1990 to October 2004
  • Sergeant Alexander Picton Brereton (1892-1976), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces


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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: Opitulante Deo
Motto Translation: By Godís help.

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. 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).
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Brereton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brereton 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 February 2014 at 14:31.

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