Brathwaite History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Among the all the peoples of ancient Scotland, the first to use the name Brathwaite were the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in any of the places so named in Cumberland or Yorkshire, bordering on Scotland. This place-name derived from the Old Norse words for a broad clearing. 
Early Origins of the Brathwaite family
The surname Brathwaite was first found in Cumberland, at Braithwaite, a township, in the parish of Crosthwaite, Allerdale ward above Derwent. Braithwaite is also a hamlet, in the parish of KirkBramwith, union of Doncaster, Upper division of the wapentake of Osgoldcross in the West Riding of Yorkshire. 
"Braithwaite is a characteristic north of England name, occurring in Westmorland, Cumberland, Yorkshire, and Lancashire. A Cumberland parish and West Riding hamlets are thus called. An ancient Westmorland family of Brathwaite or Braithwaite resided at Ambleside, near Kendal, in the 16th and 17th centuries, and afterwards at Warcop and Burneside. " 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing for the family, that being in Yorkshire: Geoffrey de Braytweyt. But by the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, there were more listings: Alicia Brathwayt; Willelmus de Brathwat; and Willelmus de Brathwayt. 
Further to the north in Scotland, "the name is found in Edinburgh in the seventeenth century as Breathit and Breathwit." 
Early History of the Brathwaite family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brathwaite research. Another 205 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1185, 1744, 1750, 1746, 1791, 1820, 1825, 1711, 1684, 1750, 1588, 1673, 1660, 1633 and 1633 are included under the topic Early Brathwaite History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brathwaite Spelling Variations
The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Brathwaite has appeared as Brathwaite, Brathwait, Braithwaite, Braithwait and many more.
Early Notables of the Brathwaite family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Braithwaite or Brathwaite (1588-1673), an English poet best known for his 'Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys.' He "belonged to a Westmorland family who variously spelt their name Brathwaite, Brathwait, Brathwayte, Braithwaite, Braythwait, and Braythwayte. The poet uses indifferently the first three of these forms. His great-grandfather, also Richard, the squire of Ambleside, had one son, Robert, who had two sons, Thomas and James, and five daughters. Thomas, the poet's...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brathwaite Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Brathwaite is the 10,802nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
| Brathwaite migration to the United States ||+|
As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:
Brathwaite Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Matthew Brathwaite, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 
| Brathwaite migration to Australia ||+|
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Brathwaite Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mary Ann Brathwaite, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia 
|Contemporary Notables of the name Brathwaite (post 1700) ||+|
- Kwame Brathwaite (1938-2023), American photojournalist and activist, known for popularizing the phrase "Black is Beautiful"
- Sir Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite OBE (1925-2016), Grenadian politician, Prime Minister (1990–1995), Chairman of the Interim Advisory Council (1983–1984)
- Normand Brathwaite (b. 1958), Quebec comedian, movie and television actor
- Desmond Brathwaite (d. 2022), Saint Lucian politician, Minister for Sport and who represented Castries South Constituency in the Saint Lucia House of Assembly from 1987–1997
- Edward Kamau Brathwaite CHB (1930-2020), Barbadian poet and academic, 2006 International Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize
- Shane Rashad Brathwaite (b. 1990), Barbados hurdler who competed in the 110 metres hurdles at the 2012 Summer Olympics
- Kraigg Clairmonte Brathwaite (b. 1992), Barbadian cricketer who plays internationally for the West Indies
- Jahron Anthony Brathwaite (b. 1993), known professionally as PartyNextDoor, a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from Mississauga, Ontario
- Carlos Ricardo Brathwaite (b. 1988), Barbados cricketer, current captain of the West Indies Twenty20 International (T20I) team
- Fredrick "Fred" Brathwaite (b. 1972), Canadian former professional ice hockey goaltender, current goaltending coach for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League
- ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
- Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- 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)
- "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
- 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)
- State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1830 with 135 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1830