Breathitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Breathitt was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Breathitt family

The surname Breathitt 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. [2]

"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. " [3]

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. [4]

Further to the north in Scotland, "the name is found in Edinburgh in the seventeenth century as Breathit and Breathwit." [5]

Important Dates for the Breathitt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breathitt 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 Breathitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Breathitt Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Breathitt has been spelled Brathwaite, Brathwait, Braithwaite, Braithwait and many more.

Early Notables of the Breathitt 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 Breathitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Breathitt family

Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them: William Braithwaite who settled in Maryland in 1775; Susan Braithwaite with her husband Francis arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with four children in 1822.

Contemporary Notables of the name Breathitt (post 1700)

  • John Breathitt (1786-1834), American politician, Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives, 1811; Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, 1828-32; Governor of Kentucky, 1832-34 [6]
  • James Breathitt Jr. (1890-1934), American Democrat politician, Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, 1927-31; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1928; Member of Kentucky State Senate 6th District, 1934 [6]
  • James Breathitt (1852-1934), American Republican politician, Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives, 1883-84, 1887-88; District Judge in Kentucky 3rd District, 1896-1900 [6]
  • Edward Thompson Breathitt Jr. (1924-2003), American Democrat politician, Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives 9th District, 1952-57; Governor of Kentucky, 1963-67 [6]

Citations

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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