Bridgers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Bridgers emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Flemish surnames of this type frequently are prefixed by de la or de le, which mean of the or from the. The Bridgers family originally lived near a bridge. The surname is derived from the Old English word brycg, which means bridge, and was sometimes also applied as an occupational name to a bridge-keeper. The name Bridgers is occasionally derived from residence in Bruges, a town in Flanders.
Early Origins of the Bridgers family
The surname Bridgers was first found in Somerset where there is evidence of a family of this name from Bruges of Flemish origin. These Bruges, or Bridges settled mostly in the south west counties of Somerset, Gloucestershire and later Hereford. One of the first listings of the name was of Robert atte Brugge and William atte Brugge who resided in Gloucester during the reign of King Edward III (1327-until his death.)
A few years later, Giles Bruges (Brydges) had his manor of Archer-Stoke in Gloucestershire seized during the reign of King Edward IV (1461-1470.)  Another branch of the family was found at Horton in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
"At a short distance from the Hall, is the seat of Francis Sharp Bridges, Esq., a descendant from a younger branch of the same family, who were zealous adherents of the royal cause in the civil war, and of whom John Sharp was severely wounded in an engagement with the parliamentarian forces." 
Early History of the Bridgers family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bridgers research. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1378, 1427, 1493, 1462, 1511, 1497, 1491, 1557, 1548, 1594, 1578, 1617, 1552, 1602, 1620, 1655, 1642, 1714, 1564, 1639, 1714, 1682, 1683, 1683, 1685, 1702, 1714, 1595, 1564, 1639, 1614, 1621, 1624, 1625, 1626, 1628 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Bridgers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bridgers 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 Bridge, Bridges, Briddge and others.
Early Notables of the Bridgers family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Simon de Brugge, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1378; Thomas Brugge, de jure 5th Baron Chandos (1427-1493) an English peer; Giles Brugge of Cubberley, 6th Baron Chandos (c. 1462-1511), English soldier, knighted for his actions at the Battle of Blackheath (1497); his son, John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (1491-1557), an English Member of Parliament and later peer; Giles Brydges, 3rd Baron Chandos of Sudeley (c. 1548-1594), an English courtier; Elizabeth Brydges (1578-1617), Maid of Honour to Elizabeth I; William Brydges, 4th Baron Chandos (c. 1552-1602), an English peer and politician, Lord Lieutenant of...
Another 122 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bridgers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bridgers family to Ireland
Some of the Bridgers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bridgers migration to the United States +
The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Bridgers:
Bridgers Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Marth Bridgers, who landed in Virginia in 1718 
Bridgers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- F.W. Bridgers, aged 20, who arrived in America, in 1894
- P.L. Bridgers, aged 23, who arrived in America, in 1894
Bridgers Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Lucy William Bridgers, who arrived in America, in 1905
- Margaret Bridgers, who arrived in America, in 1905
- Robert Rufus Bridgers, aged 24, who arrived in America, in 1912
Contemporary Notables of the name Bridgers (post 1700) +
- Robert Rufus Bridgers (1819-1888), American Confederate politician during the American Civil War
- Luther B. Bridgers (1884-1948), American minister and songwriter
- John Bridgers (1922-2006), American football coach
- Aaron Bridgers (1918-2003), African-American jazz pianist who moved to Paris, featured in the Paul Newman film Paris Blues (1961)
Related Stories +
The Bridgers 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: Je garderay
Motto Translation: I watch over.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)