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About the study
I started researching my family history in 1978 but soon came to a dead end as my 'Edbrook's' were Londoners. I managed to trace them back to the late 1700's, Thomas lived in Clarges Street, Mayfair where he was a Livery Stable Owner. Whilst looking through the GRO indexes I noticed that most other Edbrook/e's came from an area around Exmoor and Bristol. I decided to look at all Edbrook/e's in the hope I would find my family. To date I have not found a connection but have amassed a lot of information about all Edbrook/e's. I would like to hear from anyone who has Edbrook/e connections, do e-mail me.
The only variant I have found is Edbrooke, possibly not a true variant just a difference in spelling. The original spelling was most probably without the 'e' but as families moved an 'e' was added. Census returns have shown some strange spellings, Edgbrook/e, Headbrook/e, Ellburke to name a few!
The name appears to have originated from the village of Exford on Exmoor in Somerset. I have traced the name back to William who was born in the late 1500's.
Historical occurrences of the name
Robert Edbrooke left England for the USA in the early 1800's and he eventually settled in Chicago. Two of his sons became Architects and designed many notable buildings. Willoughby Edbrooke designed Georgia State Capitol and Frank Edbrooke designed many buildings in Denver including Brown's Palace Hotel. In Chicago there is a street called Edbrooke Avenue, named after the family. One of the unluckiest Edbrookes was Francis Samuel Jacob who died on board the Titanic. He was a 3rd class steward in the victualling department, he was owed 15s wages when the ship went down. He had previously served on board SS Olympic.
In Sept 2002 there were 309 Edbrook/e's in England & Wales. This means there is a 1:176,051 chance you will have this name, so it's pretty rare.
Distribution of the name
The name Edbrook/e appears to have originated in Exford, and the familes then moved to Cutcombe, Luxborough and nearby villages. Another branch moved to Minehead and then in the 1800's various families moved to Bristol, London and beyond. There is stil a concentration of Edbrook/e's in the Bristol area but the Edbrook/e's are a travelled lot and there are branches of the family in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. It would appear that most/all Edbrook/e's will have a common ancestor.
I have collected all references to the name in the GRO indexes (births, marriages & deaths), all census records 1841-1901 ( I will collect the 1911 census once prices drop), IGI references, Campbell's index (baptisms & marriages in Somerset), trade & telephone directory entries, any reference on the internet and any information I can find. I have also corresponded with people worlwide.