Brakenritch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Dalriada, in ancient Scotland, is where the name Brakenritch evolved. It was a name for someone who lived in the places named Brackenrig, in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire. [1] This place name comes from the Northern Old English words, bracken and rigg (ridge). So, Brakenritch literally means "dweller by the bracken-covered bridge." [2] 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 Brakenritch family

The surname Brakenritch 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. [1]

While the Brakenritch 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]. " [2]

Early History of the Brakenritch family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brakenritch research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1454, 1454, 1748 and 1816 are included under the topic Early Brakenritch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brakenritch Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Brakenritch has been written as Brackenridge, Brachenridge, Brakenbury, Brackenrige, Brachenrige, Brecenrigg, Brecenrig, Breckinridge, Breckinrige, Breckinrigg, Breconrig, Breconrigg, Breckenrig, Breckenrigg, Braikinrigg, Braikinrig, Braikinridge and many more.

Early Notables of the Brakenritch family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Brakenritch family to Ireland

Some of the Brakenritch 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.

Migration of the Brakenritch family

Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Brakenritch, or a variant listed above: Alexander Brackenridge who settled in Virginia in 1740; Hugh and John arrived in Philadelphia in 1846; Andrew Brackinridge settled in Philadelphia in 1840.



The Brakenritch 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.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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