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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Many variations of the name Brazil have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as O Breasail, possibly from the word bres, which means strife.


The surname Brazil was first found in County Armagh (Irish: Ard Mhacha) located in the province of Ulster in present day Northern Ireland, where they held a family seat from ancient times. They were descended from Fiachrach Casan, the progenitor of the Clann Brassil, he was the son of King Colla da Crioch, one of Ireland's greatest kings, who was banished to the Hebrides in 327 A.D. after losing his fight for the High Kingship for all Ireland. Colla da Crioch returned to Ireland in 357.

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Brazil were encountered in the archives: Brassil, Brassell, Brassilagh, Breasal, Brazil, Brazell, Braslan and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brazil research. Another 288 words (21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brazil History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Brazil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North Ameri ca. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Brazil family came to North America quite early:

Brazil Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Cornelius Brazil settled in Tilting in 1825
  • Joseph Brazil arrived in Philadelphia in 1831
  • Francisco Jose Brazil, aged 22, landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1842
  • Mary Brazil arrived in New York State in 1850 with her husband Michael
  • James Brazil settled in Tors Cove in 1871

Brazil Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Brazil settled in Harbour Grace in 1776
  • Anne Brazil settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1794

Brazil Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Brazil from Kilmaida, Limerick, was a shoreman of Argentia, Newfoundland in 1811

Brazil Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Brazil, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"
  • James Brazil, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Melbourne"

  • Harold Brazil (b. 1947), American lawyer and Democratic politician in Washington, D.C
  • Harold Brazil, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Washington, District of Columbia, 1998
  • Edward A. Brazil, American Republican politician, Treasurer of New Hampshire Republican Party, 1957
  • Catherine Brazil, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Washington, 2008
  • Ann Brazil, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Lewis County, 1956
  • Gary Nicholas Brazil (b. 1962), former English professional footballer and football manager
  • Alan Bernard Brazil (b. 1959), Scottish former football player and broadcaster
  • Angela Brazil (1868-1947), English writer

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    Other References

    1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    2. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
    3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    4. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
    5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
    6. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
    7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    8. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    9. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
    11. ...

    The Brazil Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Brazil 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 7 February 2016 at 21:25.

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