Bremner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bremner family

The surname Bremner was first found in Ayrshire where one of the first records of the name was Walter Brabounare held a tenement in Irvine in 1418-1426. This Flemish industrialist family from Brabant was invited by the monarchs of Scotland to strengthen business interests in lowland Scotland. Their name was derived from Brabener, 'the Brabander,' i.e. a native of Brabant. [1] "Artisans and traders from Brabant settled early at Aberdeen and on the east coast of Scotland. Bremner is still at times pronounced "Brembner" in Caithness." [2]

Further to the south in England, Sir Nicholas Brembre (d. 1388), was Lord mayor of London, and was the chief supporter among the citizens of Richard II. [3]

Early History of the Bremner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bremner research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1486, 1489, 1500, 1507, 1539, 1601 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Bremner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bremner Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Bremner, Brimner, Brymner, Brimmer, Brenner and many more.

Early Notables of the Bremner family (pre 1700)

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

Bremner Ranking

In the United States, the name Bremner is the 18,319th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4] However, in New Zealand, the name Bremner is ranked the 857th most popular surname with an estimated 856 people with that name. [5]


United States Bremner migration to the United States +

An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Bremner or a variant listed above:

Bremner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Bremner, who settled in Savannah Georgia in 1775
  • William Bremner, aged 21, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1775 [6]
Bremner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bremner, who settled in Philadelphia in 1813
  • John Bremner, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1841 [6]

Canada Bremner migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bremner Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Geo Bremner, who landed in Canada in 1821
  • George Bremner, who arrived in Quebec in 1821
  • Alexander Bremner who settled in Catalina, Newfoundland, in 1822 [7]

Australia Bremner migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bremner Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Bremner, English convict who was convicted in Manchester, Greater Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 11th March 1863, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [8]

New Zealand Bremner migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bremner Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Bremner, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gipsey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 25th October 1854, en-route to Nelson [9]
  • Mr. Andrew Bremner, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Palmyra" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 19th February 1858 [10]
  • Mrs. Bremner, British settler travelling from London with 5 children aboard the ship "Palmyra" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 19th February 1858 [10]
  • Mr. Alexander Bremner, British settler travelling from London with 6 children aboard the ship "Palmyra" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 19th February 1858 [10]
  • Mr. Alexander Bremner, (b. 1841), aged 23, Scottish farm labourer from Banffshire travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 22nd October 1864 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bremner (post 1700) +

  • Robert Gunn Bremner (1874-1914), American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1912; U.S. Representative from New Jersey 7th District, 1913-14 [11]
  • Robert Bremner (d. 1789), Scottish music publisher [12]
  • T. Hutton Bremner (1912-1969), Scottish footballer who played from 1929 to 1947, including once for the Scottish League XI National Team in 1934
  • Roderick "Rory" Keith Ogilvy Bremner FKC (b. 1961), Scottish impressionist and comedian, noted for his work in political satire
  • Gordon Hutton Bremner (b. 1917), Scottish professional footballer who played from 1937 to 1951 including two Scotland National Teams 1941 and 1942
  • James Bremner (1784-1856), Scottish naval architect, harbour builder and ship raiser who raised or rescued over 236 ships, awarded the Telford Medal in 1833
  • Ewen Bremner (b. 1971), Scottish actor, known for his roles in Trainspotting (1996), Snatch. (2000) and Black Hawk Down (2001)
  • Desmond George "Des" Bremner (b. 1952), Scottish former professional footballer who played from 1972 to 1994, member of three Scotland National Teams (1974-1976)
  • Mr. Kenneth William Bremner M.B.E., British Chief Executive for South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to NHS Leadership [13]
  • Kyla Bremner (b. 1977), Canadian-born, Australian physician and freestyle wrestler at the 2008 Olympics
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Rachel  Bremner (1896-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [14]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019
  13. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  14. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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