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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Brisco. The Brisco family lived in Briscoe in Scotland. The name Brisco is a habitational name, derived from a few sources. One source shows the name is derived from the Old Norse word Bretaskógr, which means, wood of the Britons. The second source shows that it may also be derived from the Old Norse words birki and stógr, which mean birch wood.


The surname Brisco was first found in Briscoe, near Carlisle where the family were seated for three generations before the reign of Edward III. Later in Crofton in Cumbria (formerly Cumberland) and at Birkskeugh, in the parish of Newbiggan, were the ancestral homes of the family since 1390. [1] One of the first records of the name in Cumberland was Isold de Briskow. Later William Brys(k)how was listed in Yorkshire in 1410. [2]

The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Brisco has appeared as Brisco, Briscoe, Briscowe, Briscow, Briskoe, Briskcoe, Briskcow, Briskow, Briskowe, Bresco, Brescoe and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brisco research. Another 489 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1280, 1590, 1332, 1845, 1606, 1688, 1654, 1659, 1588, 1656 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Brisco History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brisco Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Brisco family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 247 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Brisco Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ann Brisco settled in Virginia in 1635
  • John and Rebecca Brisco settled in Barbados in 1660
  • Nathaniel Brisco settled in Maryland in 1684
  • Henery Brisco, aged 21, landed in Virginia in 1684
  • Henry Brisco, aged 21, arrived in Virginia in 1684

Brisco Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • C Brisco, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850

Brisco Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Sgt. Isaac Brisco, "Briscoe" U.E (b. 1740) born in Connecticut, USA from Arlington & Sunderland who settled in Ernestown, Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1783 he enlisted in 1777 served as part of the King's Rangers Regiment married to Ruth Hawley they had 4 children
  • Mr. Nathan Brisco, "Briscoe" U.E who settled in Ernestown, Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1783
  • Private Norris Brisco, "Briscoe" U.E (b. 1764) who settled in Ernestown, Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1783 he served as part of the Loyal Rangers Regiment, married Elizabeth Aylesworth they had 8 children, he died in 1849


  • Floyd Gerald "Jerry" Brisco (b. 1946), former American professional wrestler
  • Freddie Joe "Jack" Brisco (1941-2010), American professional wrestler
  • Ephraim D. Brisco, American politician, First Selectman of Newtown, Connecticut, 1915
  • Clarence H. Brisco, American Republican politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court 7th District, 1957-58
  • Sir Robert Brisco (1808-1884), 3rd Baronet
  • Sir Walter Brisco (1778-1862), 2nd Baronet
  • Sir John Brisco (1739-1805), 1st Baronet, Sheriff of Cumberland
  • Robert Hylton Brisco D.C. (1928-2004), Progressive Conservative party member of the Canadian House of Commons
  • Neil Brisco (b. 1978), English former footballer
  • Sir Musgrave Horton Brisco (1833-1909), English judge, 4th Baronet Brisco of Crofton Place



  • Wright-Briscoe Pioneers by John C. Wright.

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: Grata sume manu
Motto Translation: Take with a grateful hand.


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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  3. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  4. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Brisco Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Brisco 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 16 February 2016 at 10:45.

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