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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015
Origins Available: English-Alt, English
Where did the English Bridges family come from? What is the English Bridges family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bridges family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bridges family history?The distinguished surname Bridges 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 Bridges 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 Bridges is occasionally derived from residence in Bruges, a town in Flanders.
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.
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.) 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bridges research. Another 241 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 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 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Bridges History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 307 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bridges Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Bridges family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 49 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Bridges
Bridges Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Bridges Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Bridges Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Bridges Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Bridges Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
The Bridges Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bridges 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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.