Browse History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Browse family lived in Normandy. The exact location of the place from which the family name is derived is under dispute, as one may perhaps expect of such a prominent name. The traditional interpretation is that the name is derived from the place-name Brix, in La Manche. It is argued, however, that there is no real evidence in support of this, and that the name is actually derived from the place-name Le Brus, in Calvados. A surname based upon an already existing place-name is called a habitation name.
Early Origins of the Browse family
The surname Browse was first found in Yorkshire where early record of the family found them at Middlesbrough, a town and parish, on the river Tees. "This place, at a very early period, had a chapel dedicated to St. Hilda, which, in the reign of Henry I., was granted by Robert de Brus to the monks of Whitby Abbey, on condition of their founding here a cell to that monastery; this condition was fulfilled, and the institution that was established continued to flourish till the Dissolution." 
Skelton in the West Riding of Yorkshire held a special significance to the ancient family. "This place was given at the Conquest to Robert de Brus, a Norman Baron who came over with William, and who erected a castle here, of which scarcely any vestiges remain, the whole having been modernised in 1794. From this baron descended some of the kings of Scotland, and the present family of Bruce, marquesses of Ailesbury. The ancient manor [of Skinningrove] belonged to the Bruces, lords of Skelton, and came by marriage to the Thwengs, of Kilton." 
In the North Riding of Yorkshire at Liverton, other early records of the family were found. "This place, which at the time of the Domesday Survey was a barren and unprofitable waste, was granted by the Conqueror to Robert de Brus, lord of Skelton." 
Robert I de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale (c.1070-1142) was the first of the Bruce family to hold lands in Scotland. He founded Gisborough Priory in Yorkshire, in present-day Redcar and Cleveland, in 1119. Close friends with David FitzMalcolm, later known as King David I of Scotland, he was granted extensive lands in he Cotentin Peninsula c. 1120.
William de Broase (d. 1211), was a "rebel Baron, the descendant and heir of William de Braose (alias Braiose, Breause, Brehus, &c.), Lord of Braose, near Falaise in Normandy, who had received great estates in England at the Conquest. The family fixed their seat at Bramber in Sussex, and were lords of its appendant rape. " 
Early History of the Browse family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Browse research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1274, 1329 and are included under the topic Early Browse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Browse Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Bruce, Brus (Gaelic), Bruys, Bruse and others.
Early Notables of the Browse family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Bruce (1274-1329), King of Scotland. His body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey, while his heart is buried in Melrose Abbey. His embalmed...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Browse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Browse family to Ireland
Some of the Browse family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Browse migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Browse Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Elizabeth Browse, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1849 
Contemporary Notables of the name Browse (post 1700) +
- Sir Norman Leslie Browse FRCS FRCP (1931-2019), British surgeon, President of the States of Alderney from 2002 to 2011
Related Stories +
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MARY ANN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849MaryAnn.htm