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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French, Irish


Breton is a name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066. The Breton family lived in Essex. The name is a reference to the French province of Brettagne or Brittany. Families from this area largely consisted of the descendants of Celtic tribes who were originally forced to flee ancient Britain from the Roman Tyrant, Maximus, around 384 AD, and settled across the Channel. When the Romans left, the settlement remained, and carries the name to this day. From about 950 onwards, the Dukes of Brittany became closely related to the Dukes of Normandy, and even accompanied them at Hastings in 1066. Many of the Brettagne families who were granted land by William, Duke of Normandy had come in a complete circle, settling again on their former homeland in Powys, on the English- Welsh border.

Breton Early Origins



The surname Breton was first found in Essex where they had been granted lands by King William for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The name occurred many times throughout the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: John de Brytaygn in Cambridgeshire; Giffard le Bretun in Buckinghamshire; Hugo le Bretun in Suffolk and more. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Alicia de Britten; Elias de Britton; and Ricardus Britton. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early records of Warwickshire found the family in the hamlet of Marston. "This place, anciently called Breton's Mannour, was held by Guido Breton in the reign of Henry IV.; the manor has since gone with that of Wolstan." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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Breton Spelling Variations


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Breton Spelling Variations



A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Breton, Britain, Britayne, Briton, Brittain, Brittaine, Brittan, Britten, Brittenie, Brittin, Britting, Britton, Brittone, Brettain, Bretaine, Bretayne, Brettin, Bretin, Brettan, Brettinie, Brettony, Brittany, Brettany, Britteny, Brittiny and many more.

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Breton Early History


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Breton Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breton research. Another 375 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1164, 1273, 1273, 1296, 1275, 1545 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Breton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Breton Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Breton Early Notables (pre 1700)



Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John de Breton (died 1275), medieval Bishop of Hereford, royal justice and sheriff, generally attributed to the term "Britton," the...

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Breton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Breton In Ireland


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Breton In Ireland



Some of the Breton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Breton or a variant listed above:

Breton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Widow Breton, aged 53, who settled with her son Jean Pierre Breton, aged 17, in Charles Town in 1732
  • Mrs. Breton, aged 53, arrived in South Carolina in 1732

Breton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • J. Breton, aged 32, settled in New Orleans in 1820
  • Elizabeth Breton, aged 28, who settled in New York in 1820
  • James Breton, aged 60, settled in New Orleans in 1820
  • Rodrigo Breton, who arrived in Cartagena in 1834
  • Anton Breton, who arrived in New Spain in 1835
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Breton Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Le Petit Breton, who landed in Montreal in 1660

Breton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Breton, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1761

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Contemporary Notables of the name Breton (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Breton (post 1700)



  • Leonello Breton (1904-1979), American Democrat politician, Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Manchester 8th Ward, 1956; Treasurer of New Hampshire Democratic Party, 1957
  • Nicholas Breton (1545-1626), English poet
  • Jean-Baptiste Breton, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815
  • Henry Hugh Breton (1873-1936), Anglican clergyman and author
  • John Glossop Bythesea Le Breton (1884-1968), Soldier and Author
  • Jules Adolphe Aimé Louis Breton, French painter
  • Thierry Breton (b. 1955), French executive, Chairman and CEO of France Télécom
  • André Breton (1896-1966), French poet and literary theorist

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Motto


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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: Cassis tutissima virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is the safest helmet.


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Breton Family Crest Products


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Breton Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Breton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Breton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 September 2016 at 11:10.

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