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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.

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The surname Bridges 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.) [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)
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." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bridges research. Another 241 words (17 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 Bridges History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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...

Another 170 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bridges Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Bridges

Bridges Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Bridges, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Henry Bridges settled in Virginia in 1623
  • William Bridges settled in Plymouth in 1623
  • Thomas Bridges, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Tho Bridges, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
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Bridges Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Geo Bridges, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • John Bridges, who arrived in Virginia in 1724
  • John Bridges, who landed in America in 1740
  • Daniel Bridges settled in Jamaica in 1774

Bridges Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Anne Bridges, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Mr. Bridges, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Calvin Bridges, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • OS Bridges, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Eliza Bridges, who arrived in Mississippi in 1856
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Bridges Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Bridges Jr., English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Elizabeth Bridges, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Daniel Bridges, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • John Bridges, English Convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Elizabeth Bridges, aged 27, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Chatham"
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Bridges Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Bridges, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" in 1872
  • Mary Bridges, aged 32, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" in 1872
  • John Bridges, aged 2, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" in 1872
  • Laura Bridges, aged 1, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" in 1872
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  • Jerry Bridges (1929-2016), American evangelical Christian author, speaker and staff member of The Navigators
  • Roy Dubard Bridges Jr. (b. 1943), former NASA Astronaut with over 7 days in space
  • Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998), American actor who starred in television series, and appeared in more than 150 films
  • Jeffrey Leon "Jeff" Bridges (b. 1949), four-time Academy Award-nominated American actor and musician as well as recipient of a golden globe award
  • Everett Lamar "Rocky" Bridges (b. 1927), American former baseball player
  • Michael Bridges (b. 1978), English footballer
  • Thomas Edward Bridges (b. 1927), English diplomat, 2nd Baron Bridges, British Ambassador to Italy (1983-1987)
  • Edward Ettingdene Bridges (1892-1969), English civil servant, created 1st Baron Bridges in 1957
  • Keith "Bridgie" Bridges (1929-2014), professional rugby league footballer of the 1950s, and '60s
  • Robert Seymour Bridges OM (1844-1930), English poet, Poet Laureate (1913-1930)
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Bridges Historic Events



HMS Hood

  • Mr. Kenneth C Bridges (b. 1918), English Ordinary Telegraphist serving for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve from Southall, Middlesex, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Ronald W Bridges (b. 1921), English Wireman serving for the Royal Navy from Bloxham, Oxfordshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
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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.

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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. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

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 20 June 2016 at 12:37.

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