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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The ancestors of the Brooks family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Essex. The name, however, derives from the family's former residence in Broc, in the area of Anjou, France. [1]

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The surname Brooks 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. 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. [4]

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Brooks were recorded, including Brook, Brooke, Brookes, Brooks, Brecks, Broocks and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brooks research. Another 407 words (29 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 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Brooks History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 279 words (20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brooks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Brooks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Brooks arrived in North America very early:

Brooks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Cutberd Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Sibile Brooks, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Henry Brooks of Boston, Massachusetts, who settled in 1630
  • Gilbert Brooks, who landed in New England in 1633
  • William Brooks, who landed in New England in 1633


Brooks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Robin Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Fra Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Margaret Brooks, who arrived in Virginia in 1717
  • Benja Brooks, who landed in Virginia in 1720
  • Fran Brooks, who landed in Georgia in 1738


Brooks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Peter Brooks, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Thomas, Brooks Jr., aged 19, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Brooks, who landed in New York in 1822
  • Robert Brooks, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • James Brooks, who arrived in New York in 1822


Brooks Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Sam D Brooks, who arrived in Arkansas in 1903

Brooks Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Chamr Brooks, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mary Brooks, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. George Brooks U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. John Brooks U.E who settled in Sophiasburgh & Ameliasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1783

Brooks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Brooks, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Alexander Brooks, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Richard Brooks, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Edward Brooks arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Rachel Brooks arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839


Brooks Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Brooks landed in Cloudy Bay, New Zealand in 1839
  • Stephen Brooks, aged 39, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Sarah Brooks, aged 37, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Caroline Brooks, aged 16, a sempstress, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Maryanne Brooks, aged 10, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840


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  • Martin E. Brooks (1925-2015), born Martin Baum, an American character actor, best known for playing scientist Dr. Rudy Wells in the television series The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman
  • Arthur Brooks (1933-2015), American singer, founding member of The Impressions
  • Mr. James "Jay Ham" Brooks, American 1st Class Passenger from Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in a collapsible
  • Dean Kent Brooks (1916-2013), American physician and actor, superintendent of Oregon State Hospital for 26 years who granted permission for the movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) to be filmed there
  • Major-General John B. Brooks (1891-1975), American Commanding General of the Alaskan Air Command, Adak, Alaska (1945)
  • Lieutenant-General Edward Hale Brooks (1893-1978), American Commanding General 2nd Army (1951-1953)
  • Cleanth Brooks (1906-1994), influential American literary critic, professor, and Rhodes Scholar
  • James Lawrence Brooks (b. 1940), American director, producer and screenwriter whose TV shows have won 20 Emmy Awards
  • Sharon Sanders Brooks, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 2008
  • Josephine H. Brooks, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1936, 1944

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  • Brooks Family History by Bernice Brooks Casey.
  • The Brooks of Virginia by Bruce Montgomery Edwards.
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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.

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  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. ^ Lowe, 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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. 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).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Brooks Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brooks Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 March 2016 at 16:39.

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