History

Currently my research traces the family back to about 1770 Ireland.  According to Professor Oakley in the Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (see Obituary for Francis Williams Rogers Brambell), he said the family originated from Kilkenny and Francis Williams Rogers Brambell was a descendent of Thomas Bramble (born abt. 1770).  Anne Denard did not know where he got this information but thought it must have been from her mother, Margaret Brambell. It is possible that Thomas moved to Dublin and there is a Thomas Bramble, coach builder, 20 James’ St. recorded in Thorn’s Directory 1847.

The name brambell however is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when the family lived in Yorkshire where Bramley was a local name ‘of Brambley,’ a chapelry and village near Leeds.

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like brambell are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name brambell include Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. Bramley, Bramlie, Bramble, Brambley and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the oppurtunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name brambell or a variant listed above: Francis Bramley who settled in Virginia in 1635; Hugh Bramley settled in Virginia in 1640; Thomas Bramley settled in Virginia in 1650; Elizabeth Bramley arrived in New York in 1823.