Bromiley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bromiley first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in Bromley Abbots or Bromley Bagots in Staffordshire. Bromley itself is derived from the Old English word bromleigh which means clearing where brambles are found. Alternatively the name could have originated from the Old English words "brom" + "leah," and meant "woodland clearing where broom grows." [1] However, there are numerous villages and parishes named Bromley throughout Britain. One of the oldest was Bromley in Kent. "This place, which is supposed to have derived its name from the quantity of broom with which the neighbourhood abounds, was in the eighth century given by Ethelbert, King of Kent, to the bishops of Rochester, in whose possession it remained, with very little interruption, till the recent purchase of an estate in Essex for the see." [2]

Early Origins of the Bromiley family

The surname Bromiley was first found in Staffordshire where one of the first records of the name was Geoffrey de Bromleye who was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls list Robert de Bromlegh in Salop. [3] Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Johannes de Bromylegh.

"Wootton Hall [in Wooton, Staffordshire], the seat of the Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley, who is owner of the village, is built on a spot than which, in the entire range of the vale of Dove, there is scarcely one more adapted for a noble mansion: its situation is a lofty sloping bank rising from a forest-like seclusion; and the landscape of mountain, meadow, and sylvan scenery is almost unbounded." [2] "The ancient manor of Alvaston [in Cheshire] was possessed by the Bromley family, but no manor now exists." [2]

Early History of the Bromiley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bromiley research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1706, 1555, 1530, 1587, 1530, 1587, 1579, 1587, 1652, 1707, 1705, 1707, 1664, 1732, 1699, 1737, 1717, 1682, 1718, 1707 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Bromiley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bromiley Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Bromiley has appeared include Bromley, Bromiley, Bromily, Bromly, Bromely, Bromly, Bromleigh and many more.

Early Notables of the Bromiley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Thomas Bromley (d. 1555?), English judge of an old Staffordshire family, and a second cousin of Sir Thomas Bromley (1530-1587), son of Roger, son of Roger Bromley of Mitley, Shropshire. Sir Thomas Bromley (1530-1587) of Cheshire, was Lord Chancellor of England (1579-1587.) He was descended from an ancient family established since the time of King John at Bromleghe, Staffordshire. [4] John Bromley (c.1652-1707), of White River, St. Philip's, Barbados, and Horseheath Hall, Cambridgeshire, was an English...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bromiley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bromiley migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Bromiley arrived in North America very early:

Bromiley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Bromiley, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1834

New Zealand Bromiley 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:

Bromiley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Arthur J. Bromiley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Owen Glendowner" in 1864


The Bromiley 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: Non inferior secutus
Motto Translation: Not following meaner things.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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