Brierley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Brierley date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Brierley family lived in Brierley, a township in the parish of Felkirk, West Riding, Yorkshire. [1] Brierley-Hill is a a district chapelry, in the parish of King's Swinford, union of Stourbridge, N. division of the hundred of Seisdon in Staffordshire. [2]

Early Origins of the Brierley family

The surname Brierley was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire where the first record of the family was John de Brerelay who was listed as a Freemen of York, 13 Richard II (in the thirteenth year of King Richard II's reign.) [1]

Early History of the Brierley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brierley research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1782, 1586, 1637, 1586, 1654 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Brierley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brierley Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Brierley are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Brierley include: Brierley, Brierly, Briarly, Briarley, Bryerly and others.

Early Notables of the Brierley family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Roger Brereley or Brierley (1586-1637), English divine and poet, born on 4 Aug. 1586, at Marland, then a hamlet in the parish of Rochdale, where Thomas Brereley, his father, and Roger, his grandfather, were farmers. "The name is spelled in many ways, but it seems best to adhere to the form which constantly recurs in the Rochdale baptismal register, as this undoubtedly represents the right pronunciation...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brierley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Brierley migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Brierley or a variant listed above:

Brierley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Brierley, aged 31, who landed in New York in 1808 [3]
  • Byron, Joel, John, Matthew, Robert, Thomas, and William Brierley, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1832 and 1868

Australia Brierley migration to Australia +

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

Brierley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Luke Brierley, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mary Brierley, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • John Brierley, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Henry Brierley, English convict who was convicted in Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia [7]
  • Joseph Scottie Brierley, aged 40, a wire maker, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Navarino" [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Brierley (post 1700) +

  • Harold Brierley, American business and marketing executive focused on loyalty programs
  • Marc Brierley (b. 1944), English singer songwriter
  • Roger Brierley (1935-2005), English actor, best known for his work on A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and Superman II (1980)
  • Walter Henry Brierley (1862-1926), English architect in York, responsible for over 300 buildings, founder of Brierly Groom is a York architecture company
  • Benjamin Brierley (b. 1986), English-born, German international rugby union player
  • Benjamin Brierley (1825-1896), English weaver and writer
  • Jack Brierley (1911-1984), Australian rugby league footballer who played in the 1930s
  • Ryan Brierley (b. 1992), Scotland international rugby league footballer who plays as a goal-kicking scrum-half or stand-off
  • Saroo Brierley (b. 1981), Indian-born Australian businessman and author who, at age five, was accidentally separated from his biological mother; his autobiographical story A Long Way Home, which received critical acclaim
  • Ms. Dorothy Brierley B.E.M., British Vice Chairman for Rochdale Childer, was appointed Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to Children in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale [9]
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. William L Brierley (b. 1921), Canadian Leading Steward serving for the Royal Navy from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [10]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. George Brierley, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [11]


  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.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1835
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/australasia
  8. ^ South Australian Register Friday 22nd February 1856. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Navarino 1856. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/navarino1856.shtml.
  9. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  10. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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