Brooke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Brooke was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Brooke family lived in Essex. The name, however, derives from the family's former residence in Broc, in the area of Anjou, France. [1]

Early Origins of the Brooke family

The surname Brooke was first found in Essex. Medieval forms of the name are Ate-Broc, Atte-Broc, Attenbroke and was more often than not pluralized to Brooks and Brookes in modern times. [2]

Originally from the Norman "Broc," meaning "a stream" or "at the brook," one of the first references was of Robert le Broc and Ranyllph le Broc, two knights having estates in Essex in the year 1119. A few years later, Eustace delbroc was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Northumberland in 1130 and Rand de Broc was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1157. [3]

The Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III- Edward I, listed Edelina del Brok. Henry III- Edward I [4]

Early in the 13th century, William de la Broke was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Surrey in 1208 and Emma de Brokes was listed in the same source but in Suffolk in 1220. [3] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Alice de la Broke and Laurence del Broc. [5] In Somerset, William atte Brouke was listed there, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [6]

Early History of the Brooke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brooke research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1592, 1660, 1512, 1560, 1532, 1560, 1569, 1563, 1545, 1660, 1614, 1643, 1664, 1602, 1655, 1652, 1608, 1680, 1685, 1646, 1648, 1632, 1676, 1601, 1683, 1685 and are included under the topic Early Brooke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brooke Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Brook, Brooke, Brookes, Brooks, Brecks, Broocks and others.

Early Notables of the Brooke family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Brooke (died 1569), Sheriff of Cheshire in 1563, he bought the manor of Norton, Cheshire from Henry VIII in 1545 following the dissolution of the monasteries; John Brooke, (died 1660) 1st Baron Cobham, an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1614 and 1643; Sir Henry Brooke, 1st Baronet (died 1664), an English soldier and politician; Robert Brooke, Sr...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brooke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brooke Ranking

In the United States, the name Brooke is the 7,225th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Brooke family to Ireland

Some of the Brooke family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 124 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Brooke migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Brooke or a variant listed above:

Brooke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Brooke, who landed in New England in 1634 [8]
  • Bazill Brooke, aged 20, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [8]
  • Richard Brooke, aged 24, who landed in America in 1635 [8]
  • Elizabeth Brooke, who landed in Maryland in 1637-1638 [8]
  • Georg Brooke, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Brooke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Clement Brooke, who landed in South Carolina in 1775 [8]
Brooke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John L Brooke, aged 58, who landed in South Carolina in 1812 [8]
  • John Brooke of Montgomery, Pennsylvania
  • W Brooke, aged 35, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1847 [8]
  • Ignatius Brooke, who arrived in Maryland in 1848 [8]

Australia Brooke migration to Australia +

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

Brooke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Brooke, English convict who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 8th July 1840, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. Richard Brooke, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • W. Brooke, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Hyde" in 1849 [11]
  • Henry Brooke, English Convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [12]

New Zealand Brooke 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:

Brooke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Brooke, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Mr. Frederick W. Brooke, (b. 1847), aged 27, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Varuna" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th May 1874 [13]
  • Mrs. Mary Brooke, (b. 1845), aged 29, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Varuna" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th May 1874 [13]
  • Martha Brooke, aged 24, a housemaid, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874
  • Mrs. Isabelle Brooke, (b. 1826), aged 48, Scottish machinist, from Lanark travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Oamaru" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th February 1875 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Brooke migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [14]
Brooke Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Barnabie Brooke, aged 20, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [8]
  • Mr. Barnable Brooke, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler traveling aboard the ship "William and John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [15]
  • Mr. William Brooke, (b. 1609), aged 26, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [16]

Contemporary Notables of the name Brooke (post 1700) +

  • Edward William Brooke III (1919-2015), American politician, United States Senator from Massachusetts (1967-1979), recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • John Van de Brooke, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 29th District, 1986 [17]
  • Henry James Brooke (1771-1857), English crystallographer, born at Exeter; he discovered thirteen new mineral species [18]
  • Charles Brooke (1804-1879), English surgeon and inventor, son of the well-known mineralogist, Henry James Brooke [18]
  • Sir Arthur de Capell Brooke (1791-1858), of Oakley Hall, Northamptonshire, English author of several works of travel, descended from a family originally settled in Cheshire, born in Bolton Street, Mayfair [18]
  • Jocelyn Brooke (1908-1966), English author of several unusual and semi-autobiographical novels as well as some poetry
  • Sir Henry Brooke CMG PC (1936-2018), British jurist, Lord Justice of Appeal in 1996, Vice-President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in 2003
  • Frances Moore Brooke (1724-1789), English novelist who followed her husband to Canada where he was a chaplain to the garrison at Quebec, where she wrote her four-volume "History of Emily Montague," based on Canadian life
  • Sub-Lieutenant Frances Haffey Brooke -Smith GC (1918-1952), British officer awarded the George Cross in the second world war while assigned to Atlantic convoy escort duties
  • Rupert Chawner Brooke (1887-1915), British poet known for his War Sonnets written during his one day of limited military action in the First World War
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Ralph Brooke, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. Geoffrey Arthur George Brooke, British Sub Lieutenant, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Frank Brooke, British Marine with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [20]
SS Caribou
  • Miss Margaret Martha Brooke (b. 1915), M.B.E.,, British passenger who was Royal Navy nurse from Ardath, Saskatchewan was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, she survived the sinking and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her attempt to save her friend, in 2015 she had a vessel named after her. He died in 2016


The Brooke 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: Perseverando
Motto Translation: By persevering.


  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. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cressy
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM HYDE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849WilliamHyde.htm
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 18) Aboukir voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. [These convicts appear to have all landed in Van Diemen's Land], Australia in 1851 with 280 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/aboukir/1851
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  15. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  16. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  18. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019
  19. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  20. ^ 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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