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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Brawley family come from? What is the English Brawley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Brawley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Brawley family history?

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. However, the first record of the name appears in the Poll Tax Records of Lincolnshire where William de Bradelai was listed in 1170.


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.

First found in Lincolnshire. However, there are at least fifteen parishes and towns that have "Bradley" as part of their name throughout Britain. 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.) [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brawley research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1596, 1673 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Brawley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brawley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Brawley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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, arrived in New York in 1812
  • William, Brawley Sr., who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Isabella Brawley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Patt Brawley, aged 32, landed in New York, NY in 1833
  • John Brawley, aged 15, landed in New York, NY in 1850

Brawley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Charles Brawley, aged 40, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
  • Catharine Brawley, aged 40, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
  • Patrick Brawley, aged 13, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
  • John Brawley, aged 21, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834


  • Joel Vincent Brawley Jr., American Alumni Distinguished Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Clemson University
  • Robert Julius Brawley (1937-2006), American still life painter
  • Clyde Robert Brawley (b. 2013), American politician, Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives
  • Otis Webb Brawley, American physician, the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Cancer Society
  • Benjamin Griffith Brawley (1882-1939), African-American author and educator, the first Dean of Morehouse College from 1912 to 1920
  • 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 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.


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  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).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Brawley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brawley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 November 2015 at 15:27.

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