Brassey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Brassey 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 Brassey family
The surname Brassey 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 Brassey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brassey 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 Brassey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brassey Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Brassey, Brassy, Brecy, Braceio, Bresci, Braci, Bracy, Brassye and many more.
Early Notables of the Brassey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brassey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Brassey or a variant listed above:
Brassey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
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:
Brassey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century