Brekenridge History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Brekenridge surname are thought to have lived in the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The name Brekenridge was given to 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). So, Brekenridge literally means "dweller by the bracken-covered bridge."  Bracken is a large fern which typically grows in moorland and is found on all continents except Antarctica and in all environments except deserts.
Early Origins of the Brekenridge family
The surname Brekenridge was first found in Lanarkshire, and Ayrshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times. In 1454, two records were found of the family: the yard of John of Bracanyyggis in Glasgow; and Johannes Brakanryg was sergeant of the upper baronie of Renffrew. A few years later, Robart Brakenrig witnessed a letter of reversion in 1504. 
While the Brekenridge family typically claim Scotland as their homeland, as one would expect northern England is also a place the family calls home. Cumbria (Cumberland) just south of the Scottish border included a listing of Nicholas de Bracanrig in the Subsidy Rolls for 1332. "There are five places named Brackenrigg in Cumberland and one in Lanarkshire [Scotland]. " 
Early History of the Brekenridge family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brekenridge research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1454, 1454, 1748 and 1816 are included under the topic Early Brekenridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brekenridge Spelling Variations
The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years Brekenridge has appeared as Brackenridge, Brachenridge, Brakenbury, Brackenrige, Brachenrige, Brecenrigg, Brecenrig, Breckinridge, Breckinrige, Breckinrigg, Breconrig, Breconrigg, Breckenrig, Breckenrigg, Braikinrigg, Braikinrig, Braikinridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Brekenridge family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brekenridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brekenridge family to Ireland
Some of the Brekenridge family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brekenridge family
Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Alexander Brackenridge who settled in Virginia in 1740; Hugh and John arrived in Philadelphia in 1846; Andrew Brackinridge settled in Philadelphia in 1840.
Related Stories +
The Brekenridge Motto +
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.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)