Bracy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bracy is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bracy 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Bracy family

The surname Bracy 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." [2]

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." [3]

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." [1]

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. [1]

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." [4]

Early History of the Bracy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bracy 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 Bracy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bracy Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Brassey, Brassy, Brecy, Braceio, Bresci, Braci, Bracy, Brassye and many more.

Early Notables of the Bracy family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bracy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bracy Ranking

In the United States, the name Bracy is the 5,799th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]


United States Bracy migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Bracy or a variant listed above:

Bracy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Bracy, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [6]

New Zealand Bracy 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:

Bracy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Clementina Bracy, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Sandford" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th July 1856 [7]
  • Mr. William Bracy, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Sandford" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th July 1856 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bracy (post 1700) +

  • Terrence L. Bracy, American activist from St. Louis
  • Randolph Bracy (b. 1977), American politician, Democratic member of the Florida Senate (2016-)
  • Napoleon Bracy Jr., American politician, Democratic member of the Alabama House of Representatives
  • Marvin Bracy (b. 1993), American three-time gold medalist sprinter
  • Clara T. Bracy (1848-1941), English stage and silent film actress, wife of Henry Bracy
  • Henry Bracy (1846-1917), Welsh opera singer, stage director and opera producer, best remembered as the creator of the role of Prince Hilarion in the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Princess Ida


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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