Broun History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Broun is one of the most ancient names to come from the Norman culture that arrived in Britain soon after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a person who was a person who has brown hair or brown eyes, or dresses habitually in brown. [1]

The name springs from similar roots in Old English, Old English, Old Norse, Old French, Old German. It is also possible that a given instance of the name is derived from a short form of an Old English personal name such as Brunwine or Brungar.

Early Origins of the Broun family

The surname Broun was first found in Cumberland, where the Broun family held a family seat and claim descent from Le Brun in Normandy, who was granted many estates there soon after the Conquest. However, many of the family remained in Normandy where Gilbert and William le Brun were listed in 1185 according to the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae. [2]

"This ancient and wide-spreading name, which occurs in early writings in a great variety of forms, as Le Brun, de Bron, Broun, Brune, Brunn, &c., stands 50th on the Battle Roll, and has the peculiar distinction of having produced twenty-one different families in the United Kingdom, who have received from the Sovereign hereditary titles of Nobility." [3]

"As Le Brun or Brunnus, it frequently occurs in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of the twelfth century, and is several times written in Domesday Book. William le Brun held in Suffolk; and Bruno (perhaps the same) in Warwickshire: besides "Brun Presbyter" in Oxfordshire. [4]

"Of these, the most considerable-that of the Viscounts Montague-was an offset of the great Norman house of La Ferte, who held the barony of La Ferte (now La Ferte Fresnel) near Evreux. Hugh de la Ferte is mentioned by Wace at Hastings. Richard de la Ferte accompanied Robert of Normandy to Palestine in 1096, and his youngest son, Gamel, surnamed Le Brun (according to family tradition to distinguish him from a brother called Le Blond), settled in Cumberland, where he had baronial grants from Waldeve FitzGospatric, and his descendants long flourished, the name gradually changing to Broyne, Broun, or Browne." [4]

Some of the family were found at early times at Tacolneston in Norfolk where they held estates. "The Hall, a fine brick mansion, is a good specimen of the domestic style prevalent in the 17th century; it is said to have been built in 1670, by the Browne family, who then held the estate." [5]

Another branch was found in the parish of Thrigby, again in Norfolk. "The principal part [of Thrigby] belongs to Thomas Browne, Esq., who resides at the Hall, a neat mansion of white brick." [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 eludes to the use of the name in a variety of early spelling and as a forename and surname: Brun Ednth, Salop; Matilda relicta Brun, Oxfordshire; and Brune relicta Johannis, Cambridgeshire; Hugh le Brun, Suffolk; Robert le Brun, Buckinghamshire; and Johanna la Brune, Oxfordshire. [6]

Up north in Scotland, the family are generally though to have migrated there from Cumberland. "Gamel, son of Brun came into possession of Bothel (now Boode) in the time of Henry I (1100-1135). Gilchrist, son of Bruun witnessed a charter by R. son of Dunegal to the Hospital of S. Peter of York c. 1136, Patric Brun witnessed resignation of land of Weremundebi (Warmanbie in Annandale) and Anant between 1194-1214. Ricardus Brun witnessed a charter by Ebrardus de Penkathleht (Pencaitland near Edinburgh) to the church of S. Cuthbert of Durham in the reign of William the Lion. Several individuals of this name are recorded in the thirteenth century, but what connection, if any, existed between them is not known." [7]

Early History of the Broun family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Broun research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1443, 1506, 1610, 1669, 1605, 1682, 1610, 1682, 1605, 1682, 1641, 1660, 1634, 1684, 1660, 1661, 1616, 1685, 1661, 1626, 1690, 1659, 1688, 1598, 1668, 1642, 1702, 1685, 1735, 1721 and are included under the topic Early Broun History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Broun Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Broun are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Broun include Brown, Broun, Brun and others.

Early Notables of the Broun family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Anthony Browne (1443-1506), during the reign of King Henry VII, he was Standard Bearer of England, Governor of Queenborough Castle, and Constable of Calais; Sir Richard Browne, 1st Baronet (ca. 1610-1669), English Major-General in the English Parliamentary Army during the English Civil War and later Lord Mayor of London; Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), an English author; Francis Browne, 3rd Viscount Montagu (1610-1682); Sir Richard Browne, 1st Baronet of Deptford (ca. 1605-1682), an English ambassador to the court of France at Paris from 1641 to 1660; Sir Richard Browne, 2nd Baronet (ca.1634-1684), English...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Broun Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Broun family to Ireland

Some of the Broun family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Broun migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Broun, or a variant listed above:

Broun Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Broun, who landed in New England in 1651-1652 [8]
  • George Broun, who arrived in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1685 [8]
Broun Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Engel Broun, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741 [8]
  • Basin Broun, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1752-1753 [8]
Broun Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Morris Broun, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906 [8]
  • A Broun, aged 19, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1855 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Broun (post 1700) +

  • Heywood Orren "Hob" Broun (1950-1987), American author
  • Heywood Hale Broun (1918-2001), American author, sportswriter, commentator and actor
  • Heywood Campbell Broun Jr. (1888-1939), American journalist, sportswriter, newspaper columnist, editor and founder of the American Newspaper Guild, now known as The Newspaper Guild
  • Paul Collins Broun Jr. (b. 1946), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia (2007-)
  • Paul Collins Broun (b. 1946), American Republican politician, Physician ; Candidate in primary for U.S. Senator from Georgia, 1996; U.S. Representative from Georgia 10th District, 2007- [9]
  • Paul C. Broun (1916-2005), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Georgia State Senate, 1963-2001 [9]
  • Beverley Broun, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for West Virginia State Senate 8th District, 1934 [9]
  • John Allan Broun (1817-1879), Scottish magnetician and meteorologist, born on 21 Sept. 1817 at Dumfries where his father kept a preparatory school for the Navy [10]
  • Sir Wayne Broun (b. 1952), 14th Baronet of Colstoun, Scottish peer
  • Sir William Windsor Broun (1917-2007), 13th Baronet of Colstoun, Scottish peer
  • ... (Another 17 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Broun 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: Floreat majestas
Motto Translation: Let majesty flourish


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019


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