Show ContentsBrawley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Brawley surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Lincolnshire, where they held estates in the village and parish of Bradley, and from which they derived their family name. The name refers to the local "broad ley" meaning "broad meadow" and for this there are many, many parishes, townships, hamlets with this name throughout England. [1] However, the first record of the name appears in the Poll Tax Records of Lincolnshire where William de Bradelai was listed in 1170. [2]

Early Origins of the Brawley family

The surname Brawley was first found in Lincolnshire. However, there are at least fifteen parishes and towns that have "Bradley" as part of their name throughout Britain. [1] Most are very small, but three of them date back to the Domesday Book of 1086: Bradley, Derbyshire (Braidelei); Bradley, Maiden Wiltshire (Bradelie) and Bradley in the Moors, Staffordshire (Bretlei.) [3] A reference to the family in the township of Wilpshire in Lancashire was also found. "This place appears to have been the property of the Braddylls, and of the monks of Whalley." [4]

Early spellings of the family were very different than those in use today as seen by early entries in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Robert de Bradeleye, Cambridgeshire; and Brice de Bradeleghe, Somerset. [5]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 also had early spellings: Willelmus Brodelegh; Agnes Brodelegh; and Agnes de Bradelay.

Kirby's Quest lists Richard de Bradleghe, Somerset, 1 Edward III and Henry de Bradleye, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III) [6]

Further to the north in Scotland, the family hails from "the lands of Braidlie in the barony of Hawick, Roxburghshire [where] John de Bradely rendered homage at Berwick in 1291 and William de Bradeleye of the county of Roxburghe rendered homage in 1296. The seal of William is a curious one, bearing a tree supported by two hares, the dexter one beating a cymbal or drum, the sinister playing a pipe; bird in top, a dog coiled at base, and legend S' Will'i de Bradeley." [7]

Early History of the Brawley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brawley research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1596, 1616, 1620, 1627, 1628, 1629, 1673, 1678, 1693, 1732, 1762 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Brawley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brawley Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Brawley include Bradley, Bradlie, Bradleigh, Bradly, Bradeley and others.

Early Notables of the Brawley family

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Francis Bradley; and Thomas Bradley (ca.1596-1673), English chaplain to George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham and later Chaplain to King Charles I (1628.) "He became a battler of Exeter College, Oxford, in 1616, and proceeded B.A. on 21 July 1620. He was chaplain to the Duke of Buckingham for several years, and accompanied him in the expedition to Rochelle and the Isle of Rhé in 1627. After Buckingham's murder in the following year he became chaplain to Charles I, and on 16 June 1629 a captain in the expedition...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brawley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brawley Ranking

In the United States, the name Brawley is the 6,824th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Brawley family to Ireland

Some of the Brawley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Brawley migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Brawley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Brawley, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1812 [9]
  • William, Brawley Sr., who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [9]
  • Isabella Brawley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [9]
  • Patt Brawley, aged 32, who landed in New York, NY in 1833 [9]
  • John Brawley, aged 15, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Brawley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Brawley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Brawley, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • Charles Brawley, aged 40, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Catharine Brawley, aged 40, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Patrick Brawley, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • John Brawley, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834

Contemporary Notables of the name Brawley (post 1700) +

  • Benjamin Griffith Brawley (1882-1939), American author and educator, the first Dean of Morehouse College from 1912 to 1920
  • Clyde Robert Brawley, American politician, Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives
  • Joel Vincent Brawley Jr., American Alumni Distinguished Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Clemson University
  • Robert Julius Brawley (1937-2006), American still life painter
  • Otis Webb Brawley, American physician, the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Cancer Society
  • William Hiram Brawley (1841-1916), American politician and jurist, Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (1894-1911), Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina (1891-1894)
  • Robert Brawley, American politician
  • Stuart Brawley (b. 1971), Canadian musician and Juno Award nominated record producer and mixer
  • William "Billy" Brawley (b. 1984), Scottish football midfielder
  • Sean Brawley, Australian historian

The Brawley 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: Vigilance et audax
Motto Translation: Vigilant and bold.

  1. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. 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)
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. 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) on Facebook