Briant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient surname Briant came from Brian an Old Norman name, but may also be traced further back to its original form Brjan.

Early Origins of the Briant family

The surname Briant was first found in Denbigh, a market town in Denbighshire, North Wales. "The great baronial house of Bryan became extinct in the male line at the death in 1390 of Guy de Bryan, Baron Bryan who served as standard bearer to Edward III in the celebrated fight with the French at Calais. " [1]

Another source claims the name came from three locations: Tor-Bryan in Devon; Langheren, in South Wales, and at Woodford Castle, county Dorset. "Of this family was the chivalrous Sir Guy Bryan, Lord Bryan, K.G. temp. Edward III., and standard bearer at the celebrated battle of Calais. " [2]

This source continues "The Christian name Guy was frequent in the family." Yet another source claims a similar story with a different surname spelling. In this case, this source is referring to the parish of Slapton in Devon. "This place belonged to Sir Guy de Brien, Knt., standardbearer to Edward III., whom he attended at the battle of Calais in 1349, on which occasion, having greatly distinguished himself by his intrepidity, he was rewarded with a grant of 200 marks per annum, payable out of the exchequer during his life. Sir Guy founded a chantry in the church for a rector and four priests, and endowed it with £10 per annum in land, and with the advowson of the living." [3]

Early History of the Briant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Briant research. Another 258 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1086, 1296, 1296, 1150, 1694, 1500, 1471, 1500, 1518, 1490, 1549, 1676, 1662, 1699, 1621, 1668, 1699 and are included under the topic Early Briant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Briant Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Bryan, Bryant, Brian, Breine, Brine, Bryand, Briand, Briant, Bryane and many more.

Early Notables of the Briant family (pre 1700)

Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was Sir Thomas Bryan KS KB (died 1500), a British justice, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (1471-1500); and his son, Sir Thomas Bryan (died 1518) was an English courtier during the reign of Henry VIII; Sir Francis Bryan (ca. 1490-1549), English nobleman, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland; John Bryan, D.D...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Briant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Briant family to Ireland

Some of the Briant family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Briant migration to the United States +

Early immigration records have shown some of the first of the name Briant to arrive on North American shores were:

Briant Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Briant, who arrived in Maryland in 1633-1634 [4]
  • Darby Briant, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [4]
  • William Briant, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [4]
Briant Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Briant, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1769 [4]
Briant Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Louis Briant, who landed in New York in 1822 [4]
  • Mr. Briant, aged 30, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1850 [4]
  • E G Briant, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Australia Briant migration to Australia +

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

Briant Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Miss Mary Briant, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years , transported aboard the "Britannia III" on 18th July 1798, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
Briant Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Briant, British convict who was convicted in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, the settlement was listed as abandoned and most of the convicts transported to Tasmania on the "Queen" in 1804 [6]
  • Mr. John Briant, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. James Briant, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" on 23rd April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. John Briant, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Charles Briant (aged 20) arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Briant 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:

Briant Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Henry Briant, (b. 1843), aged 22, British shepherd travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 1st January 1866 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Briant (post 1700) +

  • Shane Briant (b. 1946), English actor and novelist from London
  • Vincent Briant (b. 1986), French professional football player
  • Gavin Aubrey Briant (b. 1969), former Zimbabwean cricketer
  • Frank Briant (1863-1934), British Liberal politician
  • Michael E. Briant (b. 1942), British television director from Bournemouth, Hampshire

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Albert Briant (d. 1912), aged 34, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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