Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Brett Name
France, England, German
Origins of Brett:
The origin of this unique surname evolved originally from France and is a cultural name for a Breton. In the 6th century; the Bretons were initially Celts driven from South West England to North West France by the attack of Anglo-Saxons. Some returned with the army of William the Conqueror in the year 1066, and many of those then settled in East Anglia where the surname Brett is now spread widely. Periodically, the name may develop from Strathclyde, Scotland, where people were speaking the Celtic language, who were recognized as “Bryttas” or “Brettas” till the 13th Century. According to the early recordings in London, William Brett married Johanna Hayward in the year 1559; in Norfolk, Richard Brett, married Elizabeth Leive on 23rd September 1552, at Church of St. George’s, Colegate, Norwich. A Coat of weapons gifted to a Brett family is silver, three bezants on a blue chevron. The developmental names included Britt, Breton, Bretton and De Brett (of Breton).
More common variations are: Barett, Bryett, Burett, Breatt, Brette, Bruett, Breett, Bretti, Bretto, Bretta.
The origins of the surname Brett were in Somerset at Samford Brett, an area when it was simply registered as Sanford. In the year 1306, the village known as Saunford Bret was founded. It was the time of King Hugo Brito, son of Simon le Bret or Simon Brito, one of the four noble persons who killed a religious man Thomas Becket in the year 1170. In Dorest, in the Church of Holwell, other people with surname can be found.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Edward Brit, dated 1086, in the Domesday document of Devon. It was during the time of King William I, who was known to be the “The Conqueror,” 1066 – 1087.” The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.
People of Brett also moved to Ireland in the 7th century.
United States of America:
People with the Brett surname also settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th and 18th and 19th. Individuals who settled in the 17th Century included Isabel Brett in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630. James Brett settled in Barbados in 1635. Alex Brett in Virginia in 1638 and William Brett landed in New-Zealand in 1645.
The following century saw much more Brett surnames arrive. People of Brett, who came in the 18th century included Susanna Brett, John Brett, and Timothy Brett arrived in Virginia respectively in the years 1711, 1714 and 1719. Matthias Brett landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766.
People with the Brett surname who arrived in the 19th century included many people like Robert R Brett, at the age of 53, Edmund Brett, aged 37, Martin Brett, and Richard Brett landed in New York, NY respectively in the years 1806, 1812,1817 and 1854. R S Brett in San Francisco, California in the year 1851.
People of Brett family who settled in Canada in the 18th century included Hanah, James, Peter and Phoebe Brett arrived in Nova Scotia in the year 1750.
Some of the Brett people who settled ultimately in the 19th century in Australia included William Brett, an English prisoner from Middlesex, aboard the ship “Asia” on 3rd September 1820 in New South Wales, Australia. William Arthur Brett, an English prisoner from Essex, also aboard the ship “Arab” on 3rd July 1822, landed in Van Diemen’s Land, Australia. Cass Brett in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Susannah” in 1849. Charles Brett, at the age of 60 and Alice Brett, aged 55, came in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Sultana” in the year 1851.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Brett: United States 7,376; England 9,803; Australia 3,298; Ireland 1,359; Canada 2,293; South Africa 2,685; India 609; Pakistan 1,006; New Zealand 648; Venezuela 2,358
Brian Brett (1950), was a Canadian author.
Charles Brett (1928–2005), was a Northern Irish lawman
Jeremy Brett (1933–1995), was a British artist
Jodie Brett was an English football player
Laurie Brett (1970), was a British artist and entertainer
Peter V. Brett (1973), was an American author of dream novels
Raymond L. Brett (1917–1996), was a teacher of English and a fellow of Philip Larkin
Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher (1852–1930), was a British politician
Richard Brett (1567–1637), was an English professor
Brett Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Brett blazon are the cinquefoil, chevron embattled, fretty and lion. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur . The cinquefoil is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It is shown as five-petalled flower, each petal quite rounded but with a distinct tip. It is sometimes pierced with a hole in the centre and usually appears on its own, without any leaves. It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries, being in the form of an inverted ‘v’ shape . It is a popular feature, visually very striking and hence developed to have various decorative edges applied to distinguish otherwise identical coats of arms. An edge which is decorated like the top of a castle wall is said to be embattled, or sometimes crenelle, from the original French. (In castle building terminology the parts of the wall that stick up are known as merlons, and the resulting gaps as crenels). A whole sub-section of heraldic terminology has sprung up to describe whether these crennellations appear on which edges, whether they line up or alternate, have additional steps or rounded tops. The interested reader is directed to the reference for the full set! For obvious reasons, use of this decoration is to be associated with castles and fortified towns, an early authority, Guillim suggest also some association with fire, but with out clear reason . In all, this is one of the more common, and most effective and appropriate of the decorative edges.
Fretty is a very pleasing patterning of the field whereby it is split into diamond shapes by overlapping and interwoven diagonal bands, where the background and the band colours may be any of the heraldic tinctures. . The family CAVE, from Kent are blessed with the simple arms of Azure, fretty or. Ancient writers, such as Guillim believed that the pattern represented a net and hence symbolised those skilled in the art of “persuasion”!