Philbrook History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Philbrook was derived from Felbrigg, a small village just south of Cromer in Norfolk. The place dates back to the Domesday Book where it was part of the North Erpingham Hundred and named Felebruge. The name was derived from the Old Norse "fjol" + the Old English word "brycg" and meant "bridge made of planks." [1] Today the Felbrigg Estate is owned by the National Trust and covers 1,760 acres and in the village church, 14th-century brasses of Sir Simon de Felbrigge and his wife can be viewed.

Early Origins of the Philbrook family

The surname Philbrook was first found in Norfolk at Felbrigg, a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham. The church of Felbrigg gives evidence of the first record of the family. "On a large marble slab in the nave, is a fine brass representing the figure, in complete armour, of Sir Simon de Felbrigge, who lived in the reign of Henry VI., and was one of the early knights of the Garter." [2] He was born in Erpingham in 1367 and died there in 1443. He was son of Sir Roger Fylbrigg de Felbrigge (c. 1316-1380.) And he was son of Simon de Felbrigge, Lord of Felbrigge (c. 1274-1351.) His father Roger de Felbrigge (le Bigod), (1254-1295) was son of Sir Simon le Bigod. Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Felbrigg, Metton under-tenant of Roger Bigod who was recorded in the Domesday Book [3] census of 1086. Sir Simon de Felbrigge, son of Sir Roger Bigod, assumed the name of Felbrigg.

Early History of the Philbrook family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Philbrook research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1347, 1395, 1397 and 1620 are included under the topic Early Philbrook History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Philbrook 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 Felbridge, Fellbridge, Felbrigge, Felbrige, Felbridg, Fellbrygge and many more.

Early Notables of the Philbrook family (pre 1700)

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Philbrook Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Philbrook 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 Philbrook name or one of its variants:

Philbrook Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Philbrook (Philbrick) who arrived at Watertown Massachusetts in 1633
Philbrook Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C. H. Philbrook, aged 33, who landed in America, in 1894
  • Chas. Philbrook, aged 52, who immigrated to America from Soreton, in 1898
Philbrook Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Florence Philbrook, aged 34, who landed in America, in 1909
  • G. W. Philbrook, who settled in America, in 1912
  • Edward Philbrook, aged 46, who immigrated to the United States, in 1917
  • Harold John Philbrook, aged 34, who immigrated to the United States, in 1919
  • Harold Philbrook, who landed in America, in 1920
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Philbrook 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:

Philbrook Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Philbrook, (b. 1852), aged 22, English settler from Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Sussex" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th July 1874 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Philbrook (post 1700) +

  • Warren C. Philbrook (1857-1933), American politician, lawyer and judge from Maine
  • Mary Philbrook (1872-1958), early American supporter of women's equal rights
  • James Philbrook (1924-1982), American actor
  • Simon Philbrook (b. 1965), English cricketer
  • Frank A. Philbrook (b. 1931), Canadian Liberal party member of the Canadian House of Commons


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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