Bracay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Bracay reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Bracay family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bracay family lived in Cheshire. The name, however, refers to the family's residence in the town of Brecy in the Caen region of France prior their emigration at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066. 
Early Origins of the Bracay family
The surname Bracay was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. The name was originally associated with the town of Brecy in the Caen region of France.
"The Cheshire family had many branches, from one of which descend the Brasseys now existing, and Brassey the eminent engineer." 
A family of Brescy, derived from the Sieur de Bracy, of Battle Abbey, was connected with the county of Chester in very early times. The oldest document discovered relative to Wistanston in Cheshire, is a deed, without date, "of William Malbank, Baron of Nantwich, in which he gives notice that he has received of Robert de Bracy, his black nephew, ye homage and service of three Kts. fees - viz: for Wistanaton, &c." 
Another noted source provides similar details along the same theme: "Robert de Breze and M. de Brece were among the one hundred and nineteen Norman gentlemen who defended Mont St. Michel, against the English in 1423; and three noble families of the name existed in the Duchy. It dates from the Conquest in England. William, son of Radulphus de Braceio (who occurs in a Norman charter of 1080), held Wistaton in Cheshire of the Barony of Nantwich; and the first mesne-lords of the manor, who bore its name, and continued till the time of Henry VI., are conjectured to have been the elder male branch of his descendants." 
Brace's Leigh, in Worcestershire, bears the name of another branch of the family, that can, with every probability, be traced back to the Domesday owner. "Warmedon and Eston were then held of the Bishop's manor of Norwiche by Urso d'Abitot and by Robert of him" (here follows a description of the property): "to which agreeth the book of tenures, temp. Ed. I., where Robert de Bracy held in Warmedon of William de Beauchamp" (who inherited Urso's domains). "Robert de Bracy 20 Ed. III., held in Warmedon the same land that Robert his ancestor had. In the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1272 I find entered Richard and Elias de Bracy, both of Oxfordshire; and William de Bracy, with his daughters Avicia and Joanna, of Kent. 
Further to the north in Scotland, Bressay, Burra, and Quarff is a parish in the county of Orkney and Shetland. "The island of Bressay, which is nearly six miles long, and varies in breadth from two to three miles." 
Early History of the Bracay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bracay research. Another 230 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1270, 1273, 1369, 1570, 1642, 1663, 1805, 1805 and 1870 are included under the topic Early Bracay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bracay Spelling Variations
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 Brassey, Brassy, Brecy, Braceio, Bresci, Braci, Bracy, Brassye and many more.
Early Notables of the Bracay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bracay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bracay family
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 Bracay name or one of its variants: Thomas Brassey who arrived in Delaware in 1682.
Related Stories +
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 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)
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.