Show ContentsBrittle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Brittle family

The surname Brittle was first found in Hereford where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of many lands and domains who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. The family is descended from Roger de Breteuil, son of William FitzOsbern, a great Norman Earl. Roger became Earl of Hereford sometime before the Conquest, rebelled against Duke William in 1075, lost his lands, and died in prison. Nevertheless, his kin continued to hold domains in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Salop.

Early History of the Brittle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brittle research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 190 and 1904 are included under the topic Early Brittle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brittle Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Brettell, Bretell, Bretel, Breteuil, Bretull, Britell, Breteel, Breteal, Britill, Brettle, Brittle, Bretale, Brettale and many more.

Early Notables of the Brittle family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Brittle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Brittle migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Brittle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Brittle who arrived in Maryland in 1774

Australia Brittle migration to Australia +

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

Brittle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Brittle, (b. 1798), aged 24, Irish labourer who was convicted in County Offaly (King's County), Ireland for life for murder, transported aboard the "Brampton" on 8th November 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Miss Sarah Brittle who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 20th November 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia and Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Elizabeth Brittle, aged 33, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" [4]
  • William Brittle, aged 19, a gardener, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Blundell"

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th October 2020). Retrieved from
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from
  4. South Australian Register Thursday 20 January 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SHACKAMAXON 1853. Retrieved on Facebook