Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

6,025 total views, 1 views today




About the study

Like many One-name studies the BROOKS study is evolving from my own 30 year Family History Research and a need to put together some form of recording for the name worldwide as i and many others attempt to break through our brick walls and find those missing links.

At present I and many BROOKS researchers worldwide have their own private and personal collections of data which are not accessible to all and I feel many of us are missing valuable opportunities to gain insight into our common surname and find any missing connections.

I hope to encourage everyone to share any information they have and all work together, as the Surname is very popular it is also a good chance to see how many distinct branches we can find using YDNA analysis.

Variant names

I have registered the Variant of BROOKES. The names BROOK & BROOKE are also known variants of the name but the study I am doing centers around the name BROOKS. I have however added to my database many records for the names of BROOK & BROOKE where the name has changed from one to the other, as the One Name Study evolves we hope to know how many times the name changes and locate when and where this happened.

My early research shows the name of BROOKS or a spelling form of it has in many instances being in continuous use since many Parish Records began in the mid 1500's. It is very Rare for the surname of BROOKS to change to BROOK but I have found instances of this - it is very common after the 1841 Census to find families with the name of BROOK to change to BROOKS especially those who emigrated.

Name origin

It is widely assumed the name is of Germanic origin before the 7th Century. It is a placement name and is widely thought of as deriving from the word BROC, in Germany it could mean someone who lived by a rocky outcrop in England it refers to someone living by Water.

In the 13th Century there are many uses of the name of BROK, BROKE, BROCK & BROCKE - by the time of the 16th Century many Parish Registers have the name as BRUCKS by the 17th Century BROOKS & BROOKES are the in regular use, the name of BROOKS is now more popular than BROOK - the One-Name Study is now finding many instances of the name change from BROOK - BROOKS as late as the early 19th century.

Historical occurrences of the name

In my area of Yorkshire I have recorded the name in 1366 – Joh’ Brokes who is mentioned for Agistment of Beasts, in the Park of Bylton in the Summer of 1366 - 7.

If anyone can send me images they have for early forms of Brooks I will be very grateful.

Other early spelling versions i have seen are BRUX & BRUCKS i have seen BROCES in 1365 but wonder if this is a form of BRUCE.

Name frequency

In the 1881 Census there are 29210 instances of the name BROOKS and 7,047 Instances of BROOKES.

In 1998 there were 36056 BROOKS & 15407 BROOKES

*In 2002 according to the Office of National Statistics there are 49282 occurrences of the Surname BROOKS and 20755 for BROOKES.

The surname BROOKS being ranked as the 122nd most popular Surname and BROOKES is Ranked 352nd.

*based on UK population for England & Wales

Distribution of the name

In this order Australia, United Kingdom and the United States all have the highest Frequency of the BROOKS Surname.

Vermont in the United States has the highest frequency of the BROOKS name any where in the World. Tasmania has the Highest Frequency for the Australian Region and in the United Kingdom Nottingham in the East Midlands has the highest frequency.


I am collecting BROOKS Birth Marriage & Death Certificates to add to a repository, if you can send copies or original documents to me I will make sure these are kept for future generations.


The BROOKS Surname DNA Project is being run via FTDNA, The Study is for Male YDNA and is open to the names of BROOK, BROOKE, BROOKES & BROOKS. I would encourage any BROOKS male to consider the study and recommend a minimum of a 37 marker test for comparison purposes 111 markers is the best test possible.

The aim is to find and link to Genetic Cousins that otherwise would not be found via traditional research methods when you hit that BRICK WALL - a DNA match could and does open up new avenues of research and many have successfully used this method finding lost or unknown branches of their tree.

The BROOKS SURNAME DNA PROJECT is expanding all the time and is becoming one of the largest Single Surname DNA Projects available i would like to see more tests from the British Isles it is also a good way of finding out your Deep Ancestral Roots, SAXON - VIKING - CELT for example. Apart from tests in Canada and the United States those areas represented so far in the United Kingdom are Derbyshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Scotland & Somerset.