Warbrick History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Warbrick family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in an area known as Swarbrick found in the parish of Kirkham in the county of Lancashire. The surname was originally derived from the Old Norman byname svartrbrekka when translated means the dweller on the black slope. The surname Warbrick is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area.

Early Origins of the Warbrick family

The surname Warbrick was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century in the area of Wimmerleigh or Wimmerley in Lancashire. [1]

Early History of the Warbrick family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Warbrick research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1530, 1581, 1622 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Warbrick History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Warbrick 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 Warbrick include Swarbrick, Swarbrigg, Swartbrick, Swartbrigg, Swartbrecke, Swartbreck, Swartbregg, Swarbrooke and many more.

Early Notables of the Warbrick family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Warbrick Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Warbrick 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:

Warbrick Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Warbrick, a medical student who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway, settling in Matata where he married Ruhia Ngakarauna (Karauna), daughter of the local Ngati Rangitihi chief Paerau Moko-nui-a-rangi

Contemporary Notables of the name Warbrick (post 1700) +

  • Alfred Patchett Warbrick (1860-1940), New Zealand boatbuilder, rugby player and tourist guide from Matata
  • Joseph Astbury "Joe" Warbrick (1862-1903), Maori New Zealand rugby union player, from Matata, captain for the All Blacks in their 1884 tour to Australia, inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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