Origins Available: English
Branitch is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Branitch family lived in the county of Westmorland
(now part of Cumbria), where the family can trace its origin to shortly after the Norman Conquest
. The surname Branitch comes from the Old English word branche,
which means branch.
While it is unclear as to how this word came to be used as a surname, it may have been a topographical surname type, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree.
Early Origins of the Branitch family
The surname Branitch was first found in Westmorland
where they held a family seat
from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy
, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. The family were from St. Denis de Branche, and the name Braunch appears on the Honour Roll of Battell Abbey of those companions of Duke William Normandy
Early History of the Branitch family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Branitch research.Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1169, 1238, 1331, and 1500 are included under the topic Early Branitch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Branitch 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 Branch, Branche, Braunche, Braunch and others.
Early Notables of the Branitch family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Branitch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Branitch family to the New World and Oceana
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 Branitch or a variant listed above: Christopher Branch who settled in Virginia in 1624; with his wife Mary and son Thomas; Anthony Branch settled in Virginia in 1643; John Branch settled in Virginia in 1639.