Show ContentsBruin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the name Bruin date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The name is derived from the baptismal name Brun. "The name suggests connexion with Dutch bruin ‘bear’, but it may simply show attempts to indicate the pronunciation of French brun ‘brown’." [1] Two other sources agree with this assumptive origin. [2] [3] Another source presumes the name was originally Bregwin, pronounced Brewin.

Early Origins of the Bruin family

The surname Bruin was first found in Norfolk, where William Bruin was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1209. Later, Patrick le Bruin was found in the Assize Rolls for Northumberland in 1269 and William Bruyn was recorded in Wiltshire in 1330. Maurice Bruyn was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1425. [1]

A branch of the family hailed from Bruen Stapleford in Cheshire where there "had been a succession from the middle of the thirteenth century." [4]

Early History of the Bruin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bruin research. Another 160 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1538, 1560, 1570, 1577, 1616, 1625, 1656, 1682, 1695 and 1833 are included under the topic Early Bruin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bruin Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bruin include Brewin, Brewne, Brewn, Bruin, Brunhus and others.

Early Notables of the Bruin family

Notables of the family at this time include Abraham de Bruyn (born 1538), a Flemish engraver, established himself at Cologne about the year 1577, ranked among the Little Masters; Nicolaes de Bruyn (1570-1656), the son of Abraham De Bruyn.Daniel Brevint or Brevin (1616-1695), born in Saint John, Jersey, Channel Islands, became Dean of...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bruin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bruin Ranking

In Netherlands, the name Bruin is the 290th most popular surname with an estimated 5,080 people with that name. [5]

United States Bruin migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bruin or a variant listed above:

Bruin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Peter Bruin, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1660 [6]
  • John Bruin, who landed in Virginia in 1698
Bruin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Bruin, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [6]
  • Francis Bruin, who landed in America in 1728 [6]
Bruin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jan De Bruin, who landed in Iowa in 1853-1855 [6]
  • Johanna De Bruin, who landed in Iowa in 1854 [6]
  • Krijn De Bruin, who landed in Iowa in 1854 [6]
  • Maartje De Bruin, who arrived in Iowa in 1857 [6]
  • Joost De Bruin, who arrived in Iowa in 1857 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bruin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bruin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Bruin, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • James Bruin, aged 20, who arrived in Canada in 1812

Australia Bruin migration to Australia +

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

Bruin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Bruin, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bruin (post 1700) +

  • James L. Bruin, American Republican politician, Member of New Mexico State Senate 17th District, 1971-72 [8]
  • James J. Bruin, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 5th District, 1932; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1940, 1948 [8]

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Thomas Bruin, British Seaman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland (1914) and survived the sinking [9]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "Most Common Last Names in Netherlands." Forebears,
  6. 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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from
  9. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook