Bragg History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bragg is rooted in the ancient Norman culture that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was a name for someone who was a cheerful or lively person. The name stems from the Old English root, bragge, which means lively, gay, or active. A Norman derivation is slightly different, and suggests that the word stems from the root braggi, which means a hero, or man of great accomplishment. [1]

Early Origins of the Bragg family

The surname Bragg was first found in Somerset where Walter Bragge was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1243. A few years later in Cambridgeshire, Henry Brag was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1260 [2] and later in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [3]

The Register of the University of Oxford list Edward Bragge in 1573 and Edmund Bragge in 1601. [3]

Early History of the Bragg family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bragg research. Another 177 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 110 and 1100 are included under the topic Early Bragg History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bragg 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 Bragg, Brag, Braggs, Bragge and others.

Early Notables of the Bragg family (pre 1700)

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

Bragg Ranking

In the United States, the name Bragg is the 1,497th most popular surname with an estimated 19,896 people with that name. [4] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Bragg is ranked the 319th most popular surname with an estimated 144 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Bragg family to Ireland

Some of the Bragg family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bragg 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 Bragg or a variant listed above:

Bragg Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Bragg, who arrived in Virginia in 1649 [6]
  • William Bragg, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [6]
  • William Bragg, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Peter Bragg, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [6]
  • Robert Bragg, who arrived in Maryland in 1676 [6]
Bragg Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W M Bragg, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • G F Bragg, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]
  • John Bragg, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1856 [6]
  • William Bragg was a fisherman in Seal Islands in 1871
Bragg Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. William Bragg, (b. 1863), aged 37, American miner travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 21st April 1900 en route to Ironwood, Michigan, USA [7]
  • Miss Gladys Bragg, (b. 1898), aged 7, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Brooklyn, New York, USA [7]
  • Mrs. Jessie Bragg, (b. 1877), aged 28, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Brooklyn, New York, USA [7]

Canada Bragg migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bragg Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Bragg migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bragg Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Bragg, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Philip Bragg, a butcher, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Thomas Bragg, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Mr. Philip Bragg, (b. 1821), aged 21, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 12th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [11]
  • Henry Bragg, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Derwent" in 1849 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Bragg 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:

Bragg Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Bragg, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Richard Bragg, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Richard Bragg, aged 40, a farm labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841 [13]
  • Charlotte Bragg, aged 36, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841 [13]
  • Jane Bragg, aged 17, a sempstress, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Bragg migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [14]
Bragg Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Bragg who settled in Barbados in 1654
  • William Bragg, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife, three children, and servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Bragg (post 1700) +

  • Bill Bragg (1947-2019), American radio station owner and voice actor of Big Tex, a 55-foot (17 m) tall statue and marketing icon of the annual State Fair of Texas
  • Donald George "Don" Bragg (1935-2019), American gold medalist pole vaulter at the 1960 Summer Olympics
  • Bernard Bragg (1928-2018), American deaf actor, producer, director, playwright, artist, and author, co-founder of the National Theatre of the Deaf
  • Janet Harmon Waterford Bragg (1907-1993), born Jane Nettie Harmon, American amateur aviator, the first African-American woman to hold a Commercial Pilot Licence
  • George Washington Bragg (1926-2007), American conductor and founder of the Texas Boys Choir
  • John Bragg (1806-1878), American politician, U.S. Representative from Alabama
  • Thomas Bragg (1810-1872), American politician and lawyer, the 34th Governor of North Carolina (1855-1859)
  • Paul Bragg (1895-1976), American nutritionist, founder of the Bragg Health Center
  • Darren Bragg (b. 1969), American Major League Baseball player
  • Braxton Bragg (1817-1876), American Confederate general in the Civil War, eponym of Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Bragg 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: Fidelis et constans
Motto Translation: Faithful and steadfast.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  8. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th December 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DERWENT 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Derwent.htm
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 12th December 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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