Brake History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Brake is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived near a newly cultivated piece of land. The surname Brake is derived from the Old English word bræc.

Early Origins of the Brake family

The surname Brake was first found in Shropshire where they held a family seat at Breche as Lords of the manor, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Brake family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brake research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brake Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Brake has been recorded under many different variations, including Breach, Brech, Britch and others.

Early Notables of the Brake family (pre 1700)

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


United States Brake migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Brake or a variant listed above:

Brake Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Brake, who landed in Virginia in 1648 [1]
  • Elizabeth Brake, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [1]
  • John Brake, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [1]
  • Thomas Brake, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [1]
  • Abraham Brake, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1682 [1]
Brake Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Jasper Brake, aged 40, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1748 [1]
Brake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Aartje VanDer Brake, who landed in Iowa in 1857 [1]
  • Evertje VanDer Brake, who landed in Iowa in 1857 [1]
  • Mrs. G VanDer Brake, who arrived in lowa in 1857 [1]
  • Gerrit VanDer Brake, who landed in Iowa in 1857 [1]
  • Hannis VanDer Brake, who arrived in Iowa in 1857 [1]

Australia Brake migration to Australia +

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

Brake Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Brake, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839 [2]

New Zealand Brake 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:

Brake Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Brake, (b. 1864), aged Infant, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ivanhoe" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th June 1864 [3]
  • Mr. Charles Brake, (b. 1830), aged 34, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ivanhoe" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th June 1864 [3]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Brake, (b. 1836), aged 28, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ivanhoe" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th June 1864 [3]
  • Mr. James Brake, (b. 1857), aged 7, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ivanhoe" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th June 1864 [3]
  • Mr. Alfred Brake, (b. 1859), aged 5, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ivanhoe" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th June 1864 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Brake (post 1700) +

  • Richard Brake (b. 1964), Welsh-born, American actor from Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, Wales, best known for his role as Joe Chill in Batman Begins (2005), Doom-Head in 31 (2016), and the Night King in Game of Thrones in the fourth and fifth season
  • John Brake (b. 1988), English professional rugby union player for England Sevens from London
  • Colin Brake (b. 1962), English television writer and script editor, best known for his work for the BBC on programmes such as Bugs and EastEnders
  • Patricia Brake (b. 1945), English television actress, best known for her role as Ingrid Fletcher, the daughter of Norman Stanley Fletcher, in the BBC sitcom Porridge
  • Leonard John Brake (b. 1952), former New Zealand rugby union player and coach
  • Brian Brake OBE (1927-1988), New Zealand photographer who helped establish the New Zealand Centre for Photography
  • Thomas Anthony "Tom" Brake (b. 1962), British politician from Melton Mowbray, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (2017-), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Exiting the European Union (2017-) [4]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Library of South Australia. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) ASIA 1839 from London with Captain Benjamin Freeman and 245 passengers, arrived Port Adelaide on 16-07-1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Asia-list.htm
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ Thomas Brake. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Thomas Brake. Retrieved from http://www.tombrake.co.uk/


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