Browner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Norman culture that was established in England after the Conquest of 1066 produced the name of Browner. It was given to 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 Browner family

The surname Browner was first found in Cumberland, where the Browner 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 Browner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Browner 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 Browner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Browner Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Brown, Broun, Brun and others.

Early Notables of the Browner 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 Browner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Browner Ranking

In the United States, the name Browner is the 17,422nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Browner family to Ireland

Some of the Browner 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 Browner migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Browner name or one of its variants:

Browner Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joan Browner, aged 13, who landed in New England in 1635 [9]
  • Marie Browner, aged 10, who arrived in New England in 1635 [9]
Browner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Wolf Henrick Browner, who landed in Perltsylvania in 1731 [9]
  • Conarah Browner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743 [9]
  • Hanas Browner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1743 [9]
  • Hance Conragh Browner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743 [9]
  • Hendk Browner, aged 25, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1743 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Browner migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Browner Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Browner, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1829

Contemporary Notables of the name Browner (post 1700) +

  • Ross Dean Browner (1954-2022), American football defensive end who played ten seasons in the NFL, mainly for the Cincinnati Bengals, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Daniel Solomon Browner (1965-1988), (1965), Israeli Passenger from Parod, Israel, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [10]


The Browner 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. ^ Lower, 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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html


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