Britton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Britton was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Britton family lived in Devon. The name is a reference to the French province of Brettagne or Brittany, from where this family arrived in 1066. [1]

Early Origins of the Britton family

The surname Britton was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from the 11th century. Originating in Brittany, [2] the name was introduced to England in 1066 with Auvrai le Breton being present at the Norman Conquest in 1066 under the banner of Alain le Roux. William the Conqueror rewarded Auvrai for his service with lordships in Devon. Later some of the family were found at Great Witchingham in Norfolk. "The church is a handsome structure, chiefly in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower [holds the remains of] John Britton, Bishop of Hereford, who died in 1275." [3]

Early History of the Britton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Britton research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1164, 1166, 1166, 1248, 1279, 1379, 1599, 1654, 1771, 1806, 1294, 1297, 1644, 1714 and are included under the topic Early Britton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Britton Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Britton have been found, including Brittoner, Brettoner, Brittany, Briton, Breton, Bretun, Bruton, Bretener, Bretoner, Brettner, Brittain and many more.

Early Notables of the Britton family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Ranulph le Breton, canon of St. Pauls in the 13th century; William Briton, a prominent theologian of the 14th century; a bearer of Britain, who was...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Britton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Britton Ranking

In the United States, the name Britton is the 1,183rd most popular surname with an estimated 24,870 people with that name. [4] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Britton is ranked the 704th most popular surname with an estimated 9,515 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Britton family to Ireland

Some of the Britton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Britton migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Britton were among those contributors:

Britton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Britton, aged 26, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • Mary Britton, who arrived in Maryland in 1637 [6]
  • William, Britton Jr., aged 4, who arrived in Maryland in 1637 [6]
  • Edward Britton, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [6]
  • James Britton, who arrived in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1655 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Britton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Britton, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [6]
Britton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Britton, who landed in America in 1810 [6]
  • Whiteney Britton, who landed in Texas in 1835 [6]
  • William Britton, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846 [6]
  • R S Britton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • D Britton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Britton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Britton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Britton U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1783 [7]
  • Ensign Joseph Britton U.E. born in New Jersey, USA who settled in Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1783 he served as part of the New Jersey Volunteers [7]
  • Mr. William Britton U.E. born in New Jersey, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 he died in 1811 [7]
Britton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Britton, who settled in Montreal in 1820
  • Benjamin Britton, who landed in Canada in 1841
  • Ann Jane Britton, who emigrated from Ulster to Canada in 1846
  • Miss. Ann Britton, aged 25 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but she died on board [8]
  • Mr. Richard Britton, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but he died on board [8]

Australia Britton migration to Australia +

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

Britton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Britton, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 6th April 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Thomas Britton, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Samuel Britton, (b. 1797), aged 25, English Farm Labourer who was convicted in Bristol, England for 14 years for theft, transported aboard the "Caledonia" in 19th June 1822, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he was a bushranger at large after he absconded in 1828 till 1835 until he disappeared [11]
  • Mr. Thomas Britton, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Miss Matilda Britton, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl of Liverpool" in December 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Britton 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:

Britton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Lucy Britton, (b. 1847), aged 15, British nursemaid travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [14]
  • Alexander Britton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Armstrong" in 1865
  • Elizabeth Britton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Armstrong" in 1865
  • Mr. Edwin Britton, (b. 1848), aged 22, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Merope' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th October 1870 [14]
  • Miss Fanny Britton, (b. 1852), aged 18, British general servant travelling from London aboard the ship 'Merope' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th October 1870 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Britton (post 1700) +

  • Paul Britton (b. 1973), British philanthropist and CEO of a multi-million investment corporation in New York.
  • Devin Britton (b. 1991), American professional tennis player
  • Nathaniel Lord Britton (1859-1934), American botanist and taxonomist
  • Elizabeth Gertrude Britton (1857-1934), American botanist, bryologist
  • Christopher "Chris" Daniel Britton (b. 1982), American right-handed Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Zachary Grant "Zach" Britton (b. 1987), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Barbara Britton (1919-1980), American film and television actress, best known as the first actress to play Laura Petrie for the pilot to be later named The Dick van Dyke Show
  • Connie Britton (b. 1967), born Constance Womack, American actress
  • Pamela Britton (1923-1974), American actress
  • Anthony Edward Lowry "Tony" Britton (1924-2019), English actor and father of presenter Fern Britton, scriptwriter Cherry Britton and actor Jasper Britton
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Frank Rock Slide
  • Mr. Joseph Britton, Canadian foreman of Frank, Alberta who was buried in the Frank Rock Slide on 29th April 1903 [15]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Clarence V Britton (b. 1922), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Bristol, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William S Britton, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Thomas Frederick Britton (1902-1939), 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 [18]


Suggested Readings for the name Britton +

  • The Brittain Family (also the Britton Family) in America by Virginia Thompson.
  • Britton Genealogy; Early Generations from Somersetshire, England to Staten Island, New York by Elmer Garfield Van Name.

  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 66)
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  12. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-of-liverpool
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ Calgary Herald news article retrieved 11th August 2021. (Retrieved from https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Calgary_Herald_Thu__Apr_30__1903_-copy-scaled.jpg).
  16. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  17. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  18. ^ 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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