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


The ancestors of the Breakfield name date back to the kingdom of Dalriada in ancient Scotland. Breakfield was a name for someone who lived in the places named Brackenrig, in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire. This place name comes from the Northern Old English words, bracken and rigg (ridge). Breakfield is a local, or habitation name, which comes from the names of places where the family once lived or held land.

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The surname Breakfield was first found in Lanarkshire, and Ayrshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. In various documents Breakfield has been spelled Brackenridge, Brachenridge, Brakenbury, Brackenrige, Brachenrige, Brecenrigg, Brecenrig, Breckinridge, Breckinrige, Breckinrigg, Breconrig, Breconrigg, Breckenrig, Breckenrigg, Braikinrigg, Braikinrig, Braikinridge and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breakfield research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1454, 1748, and 1816 are included under the topic Early Breakfield History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Breakfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Breakfield family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 243 words (17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Breakfield or a variant listed above: Alexander Brackenridge who settled in Virginia in 1740; Hugh and John arrived in Philadelphia in 1846; Andrew Brackinridge settled in Philadelphia in 1840.

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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: Virtute et industria
Motto Translation: By valour and industry.

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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  11. ...

The Breakfield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Breakfield 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 18 October 2012 at 21:14.

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