Is your Surname registered?

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

Although I have been researching BRAZELL and other variants since 2003, the Brazell One-Name Study is new and still in its very early stages. My focus is currently on documenting and mapping the various branches in England & Wales and taking them back to the 1841 census. Once that has been completed, I will move on to include Ireland and, ultimately, the United States, hopefully being able to study patterns of emigration on the way.

Variant names

I have registered Brazell with some of the variants I have found in my particular branch of the family. These include Brasil, Brassell, Brazel, Braziel, and Brazil. It is quite likely that I will have to revise the list of variants as research progresses.

Name origin

The surname is said to be of Irish origin. Dictionaries of Irish surnames, with varying degrees of certainty, state that the name, originally O'Breasail, comes from bres, meaning strife, and signifies a descendant of strife or war. While Rev. Patrick Woulfe (Irish Names and Surnames, 1923), sees it as a 'a somewhat rare and scattered surname', Edward MacLysaght, the author of 'The Surnames of Ireland' (1985), describes it as 'Mainly a Co. Waterford name'.

That notwithstanding, it is remarkable that fellow Brazells I have been in touch with - mainly English, I must admit - have unanimously told me that, according to their family tradition, the surname is of French Huguenot origin. While I am romantically inclined toward this version of the family history, I must admit that I have found no evidence to suggest it is true.


I have collected a great deal of data from British sources and am currently preparing it for publication on the Guild website. This includes all occurrences of the surname in the GRO births, marriages and deaths indexes from 1837; all occurrences of the surname in the censuses of England & Wales 1841 to 1911; all the PCC wills and administrations up to 1858, as well as all the details from the modern calendar of wills from 1858 to about 1980. In addition, I have collected many occurrences from English parish records and, thanks to a distant cousin, I have details of much of the New Zealand branch of the family.


Please see the DNA section of my family history website at