Brussell Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Brussell Family Coat of Arms

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Brussell Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Brussell blazon are the lion rampant and chief. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and azure.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. 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).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141. The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.

The chief is an area across the top of the field 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Brussell Name

Listed as Brusle, Brussell, Brusshill, Brushell, Bruzell, Brussels and probably others, however, spelt this is a rare surname.  In some examples, it may be from the city of Brussels in Belgium, but in general, in so far as one can generalise, we suspect the origin is early French.  If so it may be a little and sometimes a patronymic of the famous surname Bruce, to mean Little Bruce or son of Bruce.  The surname Bruce first introduced into the British Islands at the time of the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, with that of Robert de Bruis. As noted in Domesday Book in 1086, he gave lands in Yorkshire, and it was from this family that the later Robert, The Bruce, King of Scotland in 1306, descended.  Spellings of this surname over the centuries included examples such as Richard le Breuys in the Premium Tax Rolls of Worcester in 1275, and it may be from spellings such as this, that the later forms including this surname, gradually developed.  The French spelling of the surname as applied to an earlier inhabitant of Brussels is Bruxelles, while the dictionary of French surnames also includes Brusle, from bruler, meaning hot, as in a hot place, and that is certainly a possible origin of this surname.

More common variations are: Brusselle, Broussell, Burussell, Bruassell, Brusell, Brussel, Brssell, Brassell, Brissell, Bryssell. The surname Brussell first found in Wurtemberg, where the name Brusselle became noted for its many sections within the region where each house acquired a status and command which desired by the princes of the region.

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Johan Nikel Brusel who, accompanied by his wife and four children, arrived in New York, New York in 1709.  And other settlers who travelled to and established themselves along the eastern coasts of the United States and Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Browse Brussell family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Ar. a lion ramp. az. a chief gu. Crest—A lion's head erased gu.
2) Ar. a chief or, over all a lion ramp. az. depressed by two cottises gu.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
3. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief