Bridger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Bridger emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The Bridger family originally lived near a bridge. The surname is derived from the Old English word brycg, which means bridge, and was sometimes also applied as an occupational name to a bridge-keeper. The name Bridger is occasionally derived from residence in Bruges, a town in Flanders.
Early Origins of the Bridger family
The surname Bridger was first found in Somerset where there is evidence of a family of this name from Bruges of Flemish origin. These Bruges, or Bridges settled mostly in the south west counties of Somerset, Gloucestershire and later Hereford. One of the first listings of the name was of Robert atte Brugge and William atte Brugge who resided in Gloucester during the reign of King Edward III (1327-until his death.)
A few years later, Giles Bruges (Brydges) had his manor of Archer-Stoke in Gloucestershire seized during the reign of King Edward IV (1461-1470.)  Another branch of the family was found at Horton in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
"At a short distance from the Hall, is the seat of Francis Sharp Bridges, Esq., a descendant from a younger branch of the same family, who were zealous adherents of the royal cause in the civil war, and of whom John Sharp was severely wounded in an engagement with the parliamentarian forces." 
Important Dates for the Bridger family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bridger research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1378, 1427, 1493, 1462, 1511, 1497, 1491, 1557, 1548, 1594, 1578, 1617, 1552, 1602, 1620, 1655, 1642, 1714, 1564, 1639, 1714, 1682, 1683, 1683, 1685, 1702, 1714, 1595, 1564, 1639, 1614, 1621, 1624, 1625, 1626, 1628 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Bridger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bridger Spelling Variations
Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Bridge, Bridges, Briddge and others.
Early Notables of the Bridger family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Simon de Brugge, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1378; Thomas Brugge, de jure 5th Baron Chandos (1427-1493) an English peer; Giles Brugge of Cubberley, 6th Baron Chandos (c. 1462-1511), English soldier, knighted for his actions at the Battle of Blackheath (1497); his son, John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (1491-1557), an English Member of Parliament and later peer; Giles Brydges, 3rd Baron Chandos of Sudeley (c. 1548-1594), an English courtier; Elizabeth Brydges (1578-1617), Maid of Honour to Elizabeth I; William Brydges, 4th Baron Chandos (c. 1552-1602), an English peer and politician, Lord Lieutenant of...
Another 122 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bridger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bridger family to Ireland
Some of the Bridger family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bridger migration to the United States
Early records show that people bearing the name Bridger arrived in North America quite early:
Typical Bridger Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Bridger Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- General Joseph Bridger who settled in Virginia in 1654 from Gloucester, Gloucestershire
- Joseph Bridger, who landed in Maryland or Virginia in 1660 
- James Bridger, who landed in Virginia in 1666 
- Josep Bridger, who landed in Virginia in 1666 
Bridger Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Law Bridger, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 
- Sarah Bridger, who landed in Virginia in 1711 
- William Bridger, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 
- William Bridger, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 
Bridger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Edward Bridger, who arrived in New York in 1834 
- John Bridger, who arrived in Virginia in 1887 
Bridger migration to Canada
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Bridger Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- William Bridger, planter of Twillingate, Newfoundland in 1817 
- John Bridger, fisherman of Herring Neck in 1850 and Salt Harbour, Newfoundland in 1851 
- James Bridger, fisherman of Change Islands in 1852 and of Hall's Bay, Newfoundland in 1854 
Bridger migration to Australia
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Bridger Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Bridger (aged 22), a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora"
Bridger migration to New Zealand
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Bridger Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Elizabeth Bridger, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
- Eliza Ann Bridger, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
- James F. Bridger, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
- Fanny R. Bridger, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
- Laura Bridger, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Bridger (post 1700)
- Bobby Bridger (b. 1945), born Robert Durham, American singer and songwriter
- Aaron Bridger (1918-2003), African American jazz pianist
- John D. Bridger (1922-2006), American football coach and college athletics administrator
- James Felix "Jim" Bridger (1804-1881), American mountain man, trapper, scout and guide who explored and trapped the Western United States during the decades of 1820-1850
- Samuel Bridger (b. 1777), English professional cricketer in the late 18th century
- Lewis Bridger (b. 1989), English motorcycle racer
- Harry Bridger, English professional cricketer in the late 18th century
- Reverend John Richard Bridger (1920-1986), English cricketer
- Deonne Bridger (b. 1972), Australian archer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and 2004 Athens Olympic Games
- Jay Bridger (b. 1987), British racing driver
- ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
You May Also Like
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0