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Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Braund one-name study is maintained by the Braund Society. The Braund Society was founded in 1982 by the late Cyril John Braund, to promote the study of the history, biography and genealogy of the Braund family and to encourage friendship and fellowship between its members. Membership is open to all those with the name Braund, those who married Braunds and their descendants. Other interested parties may become associate members. We provide information free of charge to members and non-members alike.

The surname Braund is firmly rooted in the West Country; North Devon in particular. It is a commonly expressed myth that the Braunds, noted for their dark hair, broad heads and brown eyes, owed their existence to local women who married survivors of a Spanish Armada ship, wrecked on the North Devon coast over four hundred years ago. Documentary evidence shows that Braunds lived in Devon villages long before the sixteenth century. We believe that all Braunds share a common ancestry but the records required to prove this have not survived. Our members therefore represent several branches of the Braund family.

The surname has close associations with the village of Bucks Mills where, at one time, almost every resident was related to the Braunds. Their past ferocity in scaring away prospective newcomers and the natural isolation of the place, contributed to the formation of a tight-knit family colony. Over the last two centuries the family has spread to every corner of the world.

The Society, a non-profit making organisation, produces a quarterly journal and holds meetings in North Devon at least twice a year. We also hold regular Australasian reunions. We have published several books which are available via The Braund Society stand at We have amassed a great deal of information concerning the family, the main branch of which can be traced back to the middle of the fifteenth century.

The Braund Society hosted the 2008 GOONS conference in Bideford, North Devon.

Variant names

We collect all references to Braund worldwide. Experience has shown that Brawns in Devon and Cornwall are almost certainly Braunds in disguise and all of these are noted. Brawns elsewhere, along with Brand, Braun and other likely mis-spellings are not ignored. Given the frequency of these variants and the likelihood that they have different origins, they are considered on merit, rather than extracted wholesale.

Name origin

All post 1400 Braund family trees originate in Devon or Cornwall. There are C11th-C14th references to the name in Lincolnshire, which appear to be Viking in origin. The name is thought to mean 'fire-brand'. As yet the Lincolnshire Braunds, who do not survive into the C16th, cannot be linked to those in Devon.

Historical occurrences of the name

Illustrious members of the Braund family include: Captain James Braund 'King' of Bucks Mills, Mary Braund, a first fleet convict who escaped in an open boat to Timor Island; Leonard Charles Braund the England cricketer; George Braund the conjuror; John Braund who designed furniture for royal residences; John Braund the Hatherleigh clockmaker; William and Thomas Braund who fought at Trafalgar; Lewis and Owen Braund who perished with the Titanic and William Braund the East India Company merchant. We are however just as proud of our 'ordinary' Braund ancestors, many of whom were agricultural labourers or fishermen.

Distribution of the name

The vast majority of Braunds are found in Devon and Cornwall; particularly North Devon and eastern Cornwall. Those that left the west country went principally to Bristol, Birmingham, Cramlington, Northumberland and the London area. Amongst emigrant Braunds, those who went to Port Hope, Ontario, Juneau County, Wisconsin, Du Bois, Pennsylvania and Prospect and Armidale in Australia all established significant Braund colonies.


We have records on approximately 5000 Braunds and our data includes:-

A list of all Braunds whose births were registered in England or Wales between 1st July 1837 and 31st December 1990.

A list of all Braunds whose marriages were registered in England or Wales between 1st July 1837 and 31st December 1994.

A list of all Braunds whose deaths were registered in England or Wales between 1st July 1837 and 31st December 1994.

A list of all Brawns whose births, marriages or deaths were registered in south west England between 1st July 1837 and 31st December 1851.

Braund births & marriages 1840-1990 and deaths 1840-1900 registered in New Zealand.

Braund births 1788-1905, marriages and deaths 1788-1945 registered in New South Wales, Australia.

Braund births 1837-1920, marriages 1837-1942 and deaths 1837-1985 registered in Victoria, Australia

We have a growing collection of copies of birth, marriage and death certificates; additions to this collection are welcome.

Census Returns

Information on all Braunds who appear in the 1851 census indexes for Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.

Information on all Braunds who appear in the 1881 census index for the whole of England, Wales, Scotland, I.O.M. and the Channel Islands.

We have an increasing amount of information on Braunds from other areas in 1851 and from the censuses of 1841, 1861, 1871, 1891 and 1901.

All Braunds from the 1880 census index for the U.S.A. & 1881 census index for Canada.

Occupational Records

These include:-

Records of Braunds who served in the army and navy.

Records of Braunds who entered the customs service.

Records of Braunds who worked in the dockyards.

Church records of baptism, marriage and burial Information from registers of baptism, marriage and burial, concentrating on Devon parishes.

Details of all Braund/Brawn marriages in Devon 1754-1837

Details of all Braund/Brawn burials in Devon 1813-1837

Information on all Braunds from the worldwide International Genealogical Index (Family Search).

Copies of all Braund wills available from the Cornwall and Devon Record Offices and the Public Record Office at Kew.

Some pre 1858 Braund wills from other areas.

Copies of all Braund wills proved in England or Wales between 12th January 1858 and 31st December 1900.

Details of all Braund wills proved in England and Wales between 1st January 1901 and 31st December 1950.

Details of all Braund letters of administration granted in England and Wales between 12th January 1858 and 31st December 1950.


These include:-

Inscriptions from gravestones.

Inquisitions Post Mortem.

Chancery case proceedings.

Tax lists for Devon and Cornwall.

Land leases.

Newspaper cuttings.

We have a list of all known, pre 1900, emigrant Braunds

We have a significant photographic archive of pre 1900 Braunds.


There is a Braund DNA project running with Family Tree DNA see for results.