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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Behind the name Brownridge is a story that begins in the ancient Scottish-English border region among the clans of the Boernician tribe. The Brownridge family lived in or near one of the towns called Brownrigg, or Brownridge, in England. This surname comes from the Old English words brn and hrycg, which mean brown and ridge, respectively. This surname was most commonly found in Yorkshire, however, the places called Brownrigg were found in Cumberland. This indicates that the bearer's of the surname Brownridge possibly moved from Cumberland to Yorkshire at some point.


The surname Brownridge was first found in East Lothian, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Before the printing press and the first dictionaries appeared, names and other words were often spelled differently every time they were written. Brownridge has appeared under the variations Brownrigg, Brownridge, Burnrig, Brownrig and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brownridge research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1089, 1592, 1659, 1642 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Brownridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notable amongst the family at this time was Ralph Brownrigg or Brownrig (1592-1659), Bishop of Exeter (1642 to 1659) Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge; and Sir...

Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brownridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Brownridge family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The Scots who crossed the Atlantic were often on the run from poverty as well as persecution. They brought little with them, and often had nothing of their home country to hand down to their children. In the 20th century, Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations have helped the ancestors of Boernician Scots to recover their lost national legacy. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Brownridge were among those contributors:

Brownridge Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Mathew Brownridge settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Math Brownridge, who landed in Virginia in 1637

  • Fergus Beck Brownridge (1889-1978), Canadian banker and politician who represented Stormont in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1934 to 1943

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: Virtute et sapientia
Motto Translation: By virtue and wisdom.


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    Other References

    1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    2. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
    3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
    4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
    8. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
    9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    10. 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).
    11. ...

    The Brownridge Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Brownridge 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 21 September 2015 at 09:10.

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