Brackenridge History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The forbears of the name Brackenridge are thought to be of the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The name indicates that the first bearer lived in the places named Brackenrig, in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire.  This place name comes from the Northern Old English words, bracken and rigg (ridge). So, Brackenridge literally means "dweller by the bracken-covered bridge."  Bracken is a large fern which typically grows in moorland and is found on all continents except Antarctica and in all environments except deserts.
Early Origins of the Brackenridge family
The surname Brackenridge was first found in Lanarkshire, and Ayrshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times. In 1454, two records were found of the family: the yard of John of Bracanyyggis in Glasgow; and Johannes Brakanryg was sergeant of the upper baronie of Renffrew. A few years later, Robart Brakenrig witnessed a letter of reversion in 1504. 
While the Brackenridge family typically claim Scotland as their homeland, as one would expect northern England is also a place the family calls home. Cumbria (Cumberland) just south of the Scottish border included a listing of Nicholas de Bracanrig in the Subsidy Rolls for 1332. "There are five places named Brackenrigg in Cumberland and one in Lanarkshire [Scotland]. " 
Early History of the Brackenridge family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brackenridge research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1454, 1454, 1748 and 1816 are included under the topic Early Brackenridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brackenridge Spelling Variations
Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Brackenridge has been spelled Brackenridge, Brachenridge, Brakenbury, Brackenrige, Brachenrige, Brecenrigg, Brecenrig, Breckinridge, Breckinrige, Breckinrigg, Breconrig, Breconrigg, Breckenrig, Breckenrigg, Braikinrigg, Braikinrig, Braikinridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Brackenridge family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brackenridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brackenridge family to Ireland
Some of the Brackenridge family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brackenridge migration to the United States +
Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The Brackenridge were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown:
Brackenridge Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Alexander Brackenridge who settled in Virginia in 1740
- Alex Brackenridge, who arrived in Virginia in 1740 
- Hugh Henry Brackenridge, who landed in America in 1753 
Brackenridge Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Hugh and John Brackenridge, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1846
Brackenridge migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Brackenridge Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. David Brackenridge U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 
- Mr. Francis Brackenridge U.E. who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783 
- Mr. James Brackenridge U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 
Brackenridge 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:
Brackenridge Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. Alexander Brackenridge, (b. 1838), aged 25, British joiner travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 
- Mrs. Janet Brackenridge, (b. 1840), aged 23, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 
- Miss Janet Brackenridge, (b. 1859), aged 4, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th October 1863 
- Mr. James Brackenridge, (b. 1854), aged 20, Scottish baker, from Lanark travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 31st December 1874 
Contemporary Notables of the name Brackenridge (post 1700) +
- John Givler Brackenridge (1880-1953), American Major League Baseball pitcher
- Hugh Henry Brackenridge (1748-1816), Scottish-born, American author and jurist
- Henry Marie Brackenridge (1786-1871), American writer, lawyer, judge, and Congressman from Pennsylvania
- William Dunlop Brackenridge (1810-1893), Scottish nurseryman and botanist, eponym of the Brackenridge Passage
- John Brackenridge (1772-1844), Presbyterian clergyman who served as Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives (from 1822 to 1823)
- James Brackenridge Clemens (1825-1867), American entomologist
Related Stories +
The Brackenridge Motto +
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 industria
Motto Translation: By valour and industry.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ 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)
- ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html