Show ContentsBritt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name of the Britt family is derived from in Brittany. The surname Britt 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 Britt family

The surname Britt 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 Britt family

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

Britt 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 Britt family

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 stude...

Britt Ranking

In the United States, the name Britt is the 878th most popular surname with an estimated 34,818 people with that name. 6

Ireland Migration of the Britt family to Ireland

Some of the Britt 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.

United States Britt migration to the United States +

Some of the first North American settlers with Britt name or one of its variants:

Britt Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Amy Britt, who landed in Virginia in 1702 7
  • Timothy Britt, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 7
  • Jacob Britt, who arrived in New York in 1709 7
  • William Britt, who landed in America in 1740 7
  • Claus Britt, who arrived in New York, NY in 1782 7
Britt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Britt, who landed in America in 1809 7
  • Lawrence Britt, who landed in New Jersey in 1834 7
  • Michail Britt, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1853 7
  • Mike Britt, who landed in Arkansas in 1874 7
Britt Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Thomas Britt, who arrived in Mississippi in 1906 7

Canada Britt migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Britt Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Britt, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Thomas Britt, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. James Britt U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 8
Britt Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Nancy Britt, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Preston" from Sligo, Ireland

Australia Britt migration to Australia +

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

Britt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ed. Britt, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Lady Mary Pelham" in 1836 9
  • Charlotte Britt, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 10
  • Timothy Britt, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Nugget" 11

New Zealand Britt 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:

Britt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Britt, (b. 1827), aged 32, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 12

Contemporary Notables of the name Britt (post 1700) +

  • George W. "Chippy" Britt, American baseball player in the Negro Leagues who played from 1917 to 1945
  • Harry Britt (1938-2020), American political activist and politician in San Francisco, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (1989-1990)
  • Joe Freeman Britt, American attorney and jurist, District Attorney of Robeson County, North Carolina; Guinness Book of World Records listed him as the "deadliest prosecutor in America" with 47 death row convictions to his name as of 1988
  • William Earl Britt (b. 1932), United States federal judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Michael Antonio Britt (b. 1960), American former professional basketball player
  • Kenneth Lawrence "Kenny" Britt (b. 1988), American football wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams
  • Kevin Michael Britt (1944-2004), American Roman Catholic Bishop of Grand Rapids (2002-2003)
  • Jim Britt (1910-1980), American Major League Baseball sportscaster during the 1940s and 1950
  • Justin Britt (b. 1991), American football offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks
  • Charles Robin Britt (b. 1942), American former politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina (1983-1985)
  • ... (Another 27 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. George Andrew Britt (1963-1985), American Specialist 4th Class from Lighthouse Port, Florida, USA who died in the Arrow Air Flight 1285 crash 13
HMS Royal Oak
  • Edward R. Britt, British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking 14

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LADY MARY PELHAM 1836. Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from
  11. South Australian Register. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Nugget 1858. Retrieved
  12. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  13. American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from
  14. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook