Show ContentsBrits History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Brits began when it was derived from in Brittany. The surname Brits is based upon the Old French word Bret, nominally Brito the nominative case of the word Breton which meant a Breton. "The Domesday Book abounds with Brito as a surname. No less than seven persons bearing it were tenants in chief in many counties." [1]

Early Origins of the Brits family

The surname Brits was first found in Somerset at Samford (Sampford) Brett, a village and civil parish which dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was listed simply as Sanford. [2] By 1306, the village was known as Saunford Bret. [3] This was the lordship of Hugo Brito, (Sir Richard le Breton or Richard de Brito), son of Simon le Bret or Simon Brito, one of the four knights who murdered Saint Thomas Becket (Thomas à Becket) in 1170.

Walter Brit, Brytte or Brithus (fl. 1390), "was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and the reputed author of several works on astronomy and mathematics, as well as of a treatise on surgery. "

"Brit is no doubt identical with the Walter Brute, a layman of the diocese of Hereford, whose trial before Bishop John Trevenant of Hereford in 1391 is related at great length by Foxe (Acts and Monuments, i. 620-54, 8th ed. 1641). Foxe prints the articles of heresy with which Brute was charged, the speech in which he defended himself, and his ultimate submission of his opinions to the determination of the church. " [4]

Over in Dorset in the parish of Holwell, another branch of the family was found. "Here stood the principal lodge of the ancient forest of Blackmore, which William de Bret and his successors held by service as the king's forester in Blackmore; the office became extinct when the district was disafforested." [5]

Early History of the Brits family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brits research. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1677, 1653, 1560, 1637, 1587, 1674, 1640, 1644, 1667, 1743, 1724, 1309 and 1317 are included under the topic Early Brits History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brits Spelling Variations

Huguenot surnames were only slightly Anglicized, and they remain to this day a distinct group of surnames in England. Nevertheless, Huguenot surnames have been subject to numerous spelling alterations since the names emerged in France. French surnames have a variety of spelling variations because the French language has changed drastically over the centuries. French was developed from the vernacular Latin of the Roman Empire. It is divided into three historic and linguistic periods: Old French, which developed before the 14th century; Middle French, which was used between the 14th and 16th centuries; and Modern French, which was used after the 16th century and continues to be in use today. In all of these periods, the French language was heavily influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when the barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. Huguenot names have numerous variations. The name may be spelled Brett, Britt, Bret, Brit and others.

Early Notables of the Brits family (pre 1700)

Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was Hugo Britt or Brett of Samford; Arthur Brett (d. 1677?), an English poet. He is believed to have been " 'descended of a genteel family.' Having been a scholar of Westminster, he was elected to a studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1653. [4] Richard Brett (1560?-1637), was a learned divine who was descended from a family which had been settled at Whitestanton, Somersetshire, in the time of Henry I. Henry Brett (c.1587-1674), was an English politician who sat...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brits Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brits Ranking

In South Africa, the name Brits is the 413rd most popular surname with an estimated 17,362 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Brits family to Ireland

Some of the Brits family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Brits family

Study of Passenger and Immigration lists has revealed that among early immigrants bearing the Brits surname were: James Brett, who settled in Barbados in 1635; Isabel Brett settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630; Emma Brett settled in Virginia in 1655; Alex Brett settled in Virginia in 1638..

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. "Most Common Last Names in South Africa." Forebears, on Facebook