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

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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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.

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] 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] 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]


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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.

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Another 417 words (30 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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.

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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


  • Danl Brown, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Edwd Brown, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Eunice Brown, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Grace Brown, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Abner Brown, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750


Brown Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Bridget Brown, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1824
  • Alvah Brown, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Abraham Brown, who landed in Canada in 1830
  • Abraham Wing Brown, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Ira Brown, who landed in Canada in 1831


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
  • 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
  • Adam Brown landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant


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  • 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)
  • Curtis Jerome Brown (1954-2015), American football running back with the Buffalo Bills and Houston Oilers
  • James Edward "Jim Ed" Brown (1934-2015), American country music singer, member of The Browns with his two sisters, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015

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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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  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. 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).
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  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 23 April 2016 at 07:56.

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