Breks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Breks is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Breks family lived in Essex. The name, however, derives from the family's former residence in Broc, in the area of Anjou, France. 
Early Origins of the Breks family
The surname Breks was first found in Essex. Medieval forms of the name are Ate-Broc, Atte-Broc, Attenbroke and was more often than not pluralized to Brooks and Brookes in modern times. 
Originally from the Norman "Broc," meaning "a stream" or "at the brook," one of the first references was of Robert le Broc and Ranyllph le Broc, two knights having estates in Essex in the year 1119. A few years later, Eustace delbroc was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Northumberland in 1130 and Rand de Broc was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1157.
Early in the 13th century, William de la Broke was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Surrey in 1208 and Emma de Brokes was listed in the same source but in Suffolk in 1220.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Alice de la Broke and Laurence del Broc. 
Early History of the Breks family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breks research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1592, 1660, 1512, 1560, 1532, 1560, 1569, 1563, 1545, 1660, 1614, 1643, 1664, 1602, 1655, 1652, 1608, 1680, 1685, 1646, 1648, 1632, 1676, 1601, 1683, 1685 and are included under the topic Early Breks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Breks Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Brook, Brooke, Brookes, Brooks, Brecks, Broocks and others.
Early Notables of the Breks family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Brooke (died 1569), Sheriff of Cheshire in 1563, he bought the manor of Norton, Cheshire from Henry VIII in 1545 following the dissolution of the monasteries; John Brooke, (died 1660) 1st Baron Cobham, an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1643; Sir Henry Brooke, 1st Baronet (died 1664), an English soldier and politician; Robert Brooke, Sr...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Breks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Breks family to Ireland
Some of the Breks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 124 words (9 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 Breks family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Breks name or one of its variants: Henry Brooks of Boston, Massachusetts, who settled in 1630; John Brooke of Montgomery, Pennsylvania, and William Brooks of Virginia settled in 1635.
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The Breks 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 Translation: By persevering.
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)