Show ContentsBrewin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Brewin came from the baptismal name Brun. "The name suggests connexion with Dutch bruin ‘bear’, but it may simply show attempts to indicate the pronunciation of French brun ‘brown’." [1] Two other sources agree with this assumptive origin. [2] [3] Another source presumes the name was originally Bregwin, pronounced Brewin.

Early Origins of the Brewin family

The surname Brewin was first found in Norfolk, where William Bruin was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1209. Later, Patrick le Bruin was found in the Assize Rolls for Northumberland in 1269 and William Bruyn was recorded in Wiltshire in 1330. Maurice Bruyn was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1425. [1]

A branch of the family hailed from Bruen Stapleford in Cheshire where there "had been a succession from the middle of the thirteenth century." [4]

Early History of the Brewin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brewin research. Another 160 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1538, 1560, 1570, 1577, 1616, 1625, 1656, 1682, 1695 and 1833 are included under the topic Early Brewin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brewin Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Brewin has been recorded under many different variations, including Brewin, Brewne, Brewn, Bruin, Brunhus and others.

Early Notables of the Brewin family

Notables of the family at this time include Abraham de Bruyn (born 1538), a Flemish engraver, established himself at Cologne about the year 1577, ranked among the Little Masters; Nicolaes de Bruyn (1570-1656), the son of Abraham De Bruyn. Daniel Brevint or Brevin (1616-1695), born in Saint John, Jersey, Channel Islands, became Dean of...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brewin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Brewin migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Brewin or a variant listed above:

Brewin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Brewin, aged 24, who landed in New York in 1831 [5]
  • William and Thomas Brewin who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1840

Australia Brewin migration to Australia +

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

Brewin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Brewin, English convict from Leicester, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]

New Zealand Brewin 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:

Brewin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Brewin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863 [7]
  • James Brewin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1873
  • Eliza Brewin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1873
  • Peter Brewin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Brewin (post 1700) +

  • Michael Brewin (b. 1949), English-born, American guitarist, composer, author/writer, record producer, historian, educator, and political activist
  • William F. Brewin, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1964 [8]
  • John F. Brewin, Canadian politician, who served as Member of Parliament for Victoria from 1988 to 1993
  • Frank Gerald Singlehurst Brewin (1909-1976), Indian field hockey player who competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics
  • Gretchen Brewin, Canadian politician, Mayor of Victoria, British Columbia (1986-1990)
  • Francis Andrew Brewin (1907-1983), Canadian lawyer and politician


  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. 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)
  6. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1829 with 176 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1829
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 7th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook