Briscoe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish name Briscoe was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name lived in Briscoe in Scotland. The name Briscoe 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.

Early Origins of the Briscoe family

The surname Briscoe 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]

Early History of the Briscoe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Briscoe research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1280, 1590, 1332, 1845, 1606, 1688, 1654, 1659, 1588, 1656 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Briscoe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Briscoe Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Briscoe has been spelled Brisco, Briscoe, Briscowe, Briscow, Briskoe, Briskcoe, Briskcow, Briskow, Briskowe, Bresco, Brescoe and many more.

Early Notables of the Briscoe family (pre 1700)

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Briscoe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Briscoe family to Ireland

Some of the Briscoe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 130 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Briscoe migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Briscoe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Dr. John Briscoe who settled in Maryland. He set sail from Newbiggin, Cumberland, and settled in America in 1632
  • Henry Briscoe, who settled in Maryland in 1633
  • Henry Briscoe, who landed in Maryland in 1633 [3]
  • John Briscoe, who arrived in Maryland in 1634 [3]
  • William Briscoe, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1641 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Briscoe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Briscoe, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [3]
  • Dorothy Briscoe, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [3]
  • Phillip Briscoe, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [3]
Briscoe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • R Briscoe, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • G W T Briscoe, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • Edward Briscoe, who arrived in Mississippi in 1891 [3]

Canada Briscoe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Briscoe Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Briscoe, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834

New Zealand Briscoe migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Briscoe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Caroline Md. Briscoe, (b. 1829), aged 32, English settler from Shropshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [4]
  • Mr. James Briscoe, (b. 1830), aged 31, English farm labourer, from Shropshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [4]
  • Miss Caroline Md. Briscoe, (b. 1853), aged 8, English settler from Shropshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [4]
  • Miss Eliza Briscoe, (b. 1855), aged 6, English settler from Shropshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [4]
  • Miss Hannah Briscoe, (b. 1857), aged 4, English settler from Shropshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Briscoe (post 1700) +

  • Brent Briscoe (1961-2017), American actor and screenwriter
  • Lottie Briscoe (1883-1950), American early screen actress
  • Benjamin Briscoe (1867-1945), American automobile pioneer and industrialist
  • James Price Briscoe (1894-1981), American Democrat politician, Mining executive; Member of Colorado State Senate, 1950 [5]
  • J. E. Briscoe Jr., American politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Walton County, 1947-50 [5]
  • Frank Briscoe, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Texas 22nd District, 2002 [5]
  • Frank Briscoe, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 7th District, 1966 [5]
  • Dolph Briscoe Jr. (1923-2010), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1956, 1972; Governor of Texas, 1973-79 [5]
  • Claiborne C. Briscoe, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, 1856 [5]
  • Charles H. Briscoe, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 2nd District, 1861; Speaker of the Connecticut State House of Representatives, 1878 [5]
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Edmund John Briscoe (d. 1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]


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


  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)
  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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