Brer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Brer is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Yorkshire where it is a well known name for many years. The name literally means at the brere, or someone who lived by a briar patch.

Early Origins of the Brer family

The surname Brer was first found in Shropshire,where Walter le Brer was registered in 1255. Early in the history of the family name it branched to Huntingdonshire, where John le Breres was recorded in 1273, and to Oxfordshire, where Richard le Brer was living in 1279. [1]

Early History of the Brer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brer research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1500, 1612, 1759 and 1780 are included under the topic Early Brer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brer Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Brer family name include Brear, Breare, Brer, Breres, Brere, Brears and others.

Early Notables of the Brer family (pre 1700)

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


United States Brer migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Brer surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Brer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • No Brer, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [2]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)


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