Show ContentsBrownlow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Brownlow family

The surname Brownlow was first found in Lincolnshire at Belton, where the name traditionally means "dweller at the brown hill or burial mound." 1

Belton House is the traditional family seat of the Brownlow family. Built between 1685 and 1688 by Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Baronet, it survives today. Belton's parish church hold the tombs of the family for almost 350 years.

"The distinguished noble family of Brownlow of Belton came first into the possession of that estate in 1620. Two centuries ago there were freeholders of the name in Thurgarton hundred in the adjacent county of Nottinghamshire." 2

Early History of the Brownlow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brownlow research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1455, 1487, 1510, 1550, 1551, 1553, 1595, 1600, 1638, 1659, 1665, 1666, 1668, 1689, 1690, 1697, 1698, 1701, 1718 and 1754 are included under the topic Early Brownlow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brownlow Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Brownlow, Brownloe, Brownlo, Brownlaw, Brownlowe and others.

Early Notables of the Brownlow family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Sir William Brownlow, 1st Baronet (c. 1595-1666), an English politician and barrister; Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Baronet (1659-1697), an English Member of Parliament for Grantham in 1689, High Sheriff of...
  • Richard Brownlow (1553-1638), was Chief Prothonotary of the court of common pleas and the son of John Brownlow of High Holborn. His grave is the earliest at the Belton parish church. 3

Brownlow Ranking

In the United States, the name Brownlow is the 11,587th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 4

Australia Brownlow migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Brownlow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Brownlow, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anglia" in 1851 5
  • Catherine Brownlow, aged 25, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • John Henry Brownlow, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"
  • John Brownlow, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Carnatic"
  • Bridget Brownlow, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Carnatic"

New Zealand Brownlow migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Brownlow Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Mary Brownlow, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harkaway" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 2nd June 1857 6
  • Miss Florence Brownlow, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harkaway" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 2nd June 1857 6
  • Charlotte Brownlow, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
  • Mr. Brownlow, South African settler travelling from London via Cape ports aboard the ship "Pembroke Castle" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th November 1889 7

Contemporary Notables of the name Brownlow (post 1700) +

  • Louis Brownlow (1879-1963), American author, political scientist, and consultant in the area of public administration
  • Kevin Brownlow (b. 1938), English filmmaker, film historian, television documentary-maker, and author
  • William George Edward Brownlow (1902-1984), English politician, 4th Baron Brownlow
  • Mr. David Ellis Brownlow C.V.O., D.L., British former Chairman for the Prince's Foundation for Building Community, was appointed the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 8th June 2018 8
  • Charles Brownlow (1795-1847), Irish politician, created 1st Baron Lurgan of Lurgan, County Armagh, in 1893
  • Joan Brownlow Hanham (b. 1939), Baroness Hanham CBE is a Conservative member of the British House of Lords
  • Mr. Brownlow Eggington, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1653 to 1654
  • Brownlow R. Wyatt (d. 1953), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1944 (alternate), 1952; Candidate for Tennessee State Senate 9th District, 1946 9

The Brownlow 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: Esse quam videri
Motto Translation: To be, rather than to seem.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ANGLIA 1851. Retrieved
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  8. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018,
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook