Brassay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Brassay came to England with the ancestors of the Brassay family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Brassay 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. 
Early Origins of the Brassay family
The surname Brassay 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." 
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." 
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." 
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. 
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." 
Early History of the Brassay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brassay 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 Brassay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brassay Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Brassey, Brassy, Brecy, Braceio, Bresci, Braci, Bracy, Brassye and many more.
Early Notables of the Brassay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brassay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brassay family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Brassay or a variant listed above: Thomas Brassey who arrived in Delaware in 1682.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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
- ^ 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)
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.