Breckin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Breckin family

The surname Breckin was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, where they held a family seat in the town of Brechin.

"This place derives its name, of Gaelic origin, from its situation on an acclivity rising from the banks of the river South Esk; it is of very considerable antiquity, and was formerly the seat of a diocese, the cathedral of which is now the church of the parish. " [1]

Isaac of Brechin in 1178 was one of the first to use the name as a surname. In their early history they seemed to be closely related to the church and church activities, and frequent mention is made of their relationship with the Bishops of Brechin. Conjecturally this Isaac may have been the spearhead of many of the Norman families invited north by King David I of Scotland about 1130, and granted lands at Brechin. [2]

Sir David Brechin (d. 1321), Lord of Brechin, a royal burgh in Angusshire, was eldest son of Sir David of Brechin, one of the barons of Scotland who attended Edward I into France 1297. "His mother, whose Christian name is not known, was one of the seven sisters of King Robert Bruce, but his father seems to have favoured the English side up to the king's victory at Inverary in 1308, when he retired to his castle of Brechin. "[3]

Much further to the south in St. Ive, Cornwall, England we found this interesting passage: "There was a little king of Wales named Brechan, from whom the district of Brecknock derived its name. This king had twenty-four sons and daughters, who finally took up their residence in various parts of Devonshire and Cornwall, where they lived as hermits; on which account they were considered as holy martyrs, saints, or confessors. One of these, whose name was John, took up his abode in Cornwall, in a parish that has assumed his name." [4]

Early History of the Breckin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breckin research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1234, 1296, 1320, 1330, 1471, 1541, 1600 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Breckin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Breckin Spelling Variations

The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Breckin has appeared as Brechin, Breechin, Breichen, Brichan, Brichane, Breching and many more.

Early Notables of the Breckin family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Breckin family

As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them: Thomas Breching who landed in North America in 1761.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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