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Origins Available: English, Scottish


The Brown family name is thought to be of Norman origins. It comes from an early member of the family who was a person who has brown hair or brown eyes, or dresses habitually in brown. 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.

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The surname Brown was first found in Cumberland, where the Brown 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. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
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." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
And 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." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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 Brown, Broun, Brun and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brown research. Another 197 words (14 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 Brown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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...

Another 166 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Brown family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Brown or a variant listed above:

Brown Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Edmund Brown, who arrived in New England in 1637
  • Chad Brown, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1638
  • Debora Brown, who landed in Virginia in 1647
  • Hester Brown, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • In Brown, who landed in Virginia in 1653
  • ...

Brown Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Ellinor Brown, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Duksell Brown, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Bridgett Brown, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Ellen Brown, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Christ Brown, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • ...

Brown Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Godlip Brown, who landed in New York in 1801
  • Biddy Brown, aged 38, landed in America in 1803
  • Barbara Brown, aged 18, landed in New York, NY in 1804
  • Widow Brown, aged 60, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Hamilton Brown, aged 35, arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • ...

Brown Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Edward Alfonso Brown, who arrived in Alabama in 1918
  • Fred Edgerton Brown, who arrived in Alabama in 1925
  • Hannah M Brown, who arrived in Alabama in 1927

Brown Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Brown, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Danl Brown, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • David Brown, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Edward Brown, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Francis Brown, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • ...

Brown Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Brown, aged 20, arrived in Canada in 1811
  • William Brown, aged 20, landed in Canada in 1811
  • William Brown, who arrived in Canada in 1820
  • Andrew Brown, who arrived in Canada in 1821
  • William Brown, aged 16, arrived in Canada in 1823
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Brown Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • H Brown, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Brown Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • David Brown, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Brown, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Mary Brown, Irish convict from Dublin, who was transported aboard the "Alexander" on November 4, 1815, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Brown, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Brown, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • ...

Brown Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Alfred N Brown landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • W F Brown landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • David Brown landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
  • Abraham Brown landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Andrew Brown landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Aurora
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  • Robert Edward "Bob" Brown (1923-2016), American NBA basketball player who played from 1948 to 1951
  • Roscoe C. Brown Jr. (1922-2016), American fighter pilot, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Squadron Commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron, awarded the Congressional Gold Medal
  • Claudine K. Brown (1949-2016), American museum director and educator, best-known for her work at the Smithsonian Institution
  • Peter Brown (1935-2016), born Pierre Lind de Lappe, an American actor best known for his role as Deputy Johnny McKay in the 1958 to 1962 Western television series, Lawman
  • Thomas A. "Tommy" Brown (1931-2016), American R&B singer
  • Jerry Dolyn Brown (1942-2016), American folk artist and traditional stoneware pottery maker
  • Alton Leo "Deacon" Brown (1925-2016), American Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher who played for the Washington Senators in 1951
  • Hector Harold Brown (1924-2015), nicknamed "Skinny", American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1951 through 1964
  • Bobbi Kristina Brown (1993-2015), American reality television and media personality, singer, and actress, daughter of singers Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston
  • Jack A. Brown (1929-2015), American politician, member of the Arizona House of Representatives (1963-1974, 1987-1996, 2005-2011) and Senate (1999-2004)
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Brown Historic Events



Arrow Air Flight 1285

  • Mr. Johnny L Brown (b. 1965), American Private 1st Class from Sumter, South Carolina, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. John Brown, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. William Brown, British Seaman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Patrick Brown, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Miss Alice Brown, Canadian Second Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Archie Brown, Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914
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Halifax Explosion

  • Miss Jane May  Brown (1909-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. James  Brown (1910-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mrs. Adelia A.  Brown (1867-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mrs. Laura May  Brown (1878-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917 but later died due to injuries
  • Mr. William  Brown, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
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Hillcrest Coal Mine

  • Mr. William Brown (1874-1914), American Machinist from Stark, Ohio, United States who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse on June 19 1914
  • Mr. Thomas William Brown (1880-1914), Welsh Miner from The Watton, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse on June 19 1914
  • Mr. John Brown (1883-1914), English Pumpman from Low Spen, Durham County, England, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse on June 19 1914

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Thomas Garton Brown (1920-1941), Australian Lieutenant from Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Robert K Brown (b. 1921), English Stoker Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Sunderland, County Durham, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. John L Brown (b. 1908), English Leading Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Hull, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Henry J Brown (b. 1901), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Croydon, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. George W Brown (b. 1915), English Steward serving for the Royal Navy from Newington, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Eric F Brown (b. 1922), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Plaidstow, Essex, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • ...

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Robert William Charles Brown, British Marine, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Robert S Brown, Irish Engine Room Artificer 5th Class from Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Joseph Henry Brown, British Chief Petty Officer Writer, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking
  • Mr. John Robert Hernaman Brown, British Leading Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking
  • Mr. John Brown, British Corporal, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • ...

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Thomas William Brown, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking, was killed in action in 1942
  • Mr. Stanley E Brown, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Edward Brown, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Donald Brown, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Brown, British Midshipman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • ...

RMS Lusitania

  • Miss Evelyn Brown, American 3rd Class passenger from Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Miss Constance Brown, American 3rd Class passenger from Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. William Brown, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Daniel Taylor Brown, American 2nd Class passenger from Los Angeles, California, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. John Manson George Brown, English Joiner from Walton, Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • ...

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Edward Brown, aged 34, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in collapsible A
  • Mr. Walter James Brown (d. 1912), aged 28, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. John Brown (d. 1912), aged 25, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic, died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Mr. Joseph James Brown (d. 1912), aged 25, English Fireman/Stoker from Eastleigh, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas William Solomon Brown (d. 1912), aged 60, South African Second Class passenger from Cape Town, South Africa who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • ...
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  • Burgess, Mullins, Browning, Brown, and Allied Families by James A. Burgess.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Marion Murphy and Anna Jane Brown by Lera Murphy Johnson.
  • Brown and Sayre Ancestry; Three Centuries in Northern New Jersey by Mortimer Freeman Sayre.
  • Brown (Browne) and the Descendants in Carolina Today by Joseph Parsons Brown.
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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: Floreat majestas
Motto Translation: Let majesty flourish

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Citations



  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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Brown Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brown 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 22 August 2016 at 10:31.

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