Show ContentsBronk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bronk is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bronk family lived in the county of Westmorland (now part of Cumbria), where the family can trace its origin to shortly after the Norman Conquest. The surname Bronk comes from the Old English word branche, which means branch. While it is unclear as to how this word came to be used as a surname, it may have been a topographical surname type, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree.

Early Origins of the Bronk family

The surname Bronk was first found in Westmorland where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. The family were from St. Denis de Branche, and the name Braunch appears on the Honour Roll of Battell Abbey of those companions of Duke William Normandy at Hastings.

Early History of the Bronk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bronk research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1169, 1238, 1331, and 1500 are included under the topic Early Bronk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bronk Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Branch, Branche, Braunche, Braunch and others.

Early Notables of the Bronk family (pre 1700)

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

Bronk Ranking

In the United States, the name Bronk is the 16,614th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Bronk migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Bronk or a variant listed above:

Bronk Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Bronk, who landed in Maryland in 1650 [2]
Bronk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hendrick Bronk, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750 [2]

Canada Bronk migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bronk Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Anton Bronk, aged 17, who landed in Quebec in 1868
  • Thieofil Bronk, aged 25, who landed in Quebec in 1868

Contemporary Notables of the name Bronk (post 1700) +

  • William Bronk (1918-1999), American poet, winner of the National Book Award in 1982
  • Benjy Bronk (b. 1971), American producer and comedian
  • Jonas Bronk, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Greene County, 1810-11 [3]
  • John I. Bronk, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Greene County, 1817-18 [3]
  • John B. Bronk, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1868 [3]
  • Detlev Wulf Bronk (1897-1975), President of Johns Hopkins University, eponym of the Bronk lunar crater, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom [4]
  • Harold Bronk Minor (1902-1984), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, 1952-53 [5]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 1) . Retrieved from
  4. Detlev Bronk. (Retrieved 2010, November 10) Detlev Bronk. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook