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Middlebrook

 

About the study

I began studying my family history in 1995, inspired by some detailed notes and family trees that my grandfather had produced, and started gathering a fair amount of data when trying to overcome brick-walls.
My interest really started to expand beyond my immediate family when I developed links with the US-based Middlebrook(s) Family Association. After helping to trace one of their early migrant ancestors back to West Yorkshire (1613), I took a DNA test and discovered that we must have a common Middlebrook ancestor.
I am now interested in pulling together information on Middlebrook families from across the UK and the rest of the world, in the hope of establishing how many of us are linked to a single original ancestor.
I began to formalise this research by registering my One-Name Study in 2014.

Variant names

The main variants in the UK are MIDDLEBROUGH and MIDDLEBROOKE, whilst MIDDLEBOROUGH is just hanging on. MIDDLEBROOKS has become abundant as a variant in the USA.

Name origin

The Middlebrook surname is assumed to be locative. It could be derived from one or more places in England - yet to be identified.
It is also possible that the name is derived from Middelburg in the Netherlands, after merchants from that city settled at York in the late 14th century.

History of the name

The most noted Middlebrook was Sir William Middlebrook, Baronet, who served as a Member of Parliament for south Leeds from 1908 to 1922.
On the literary side we have military historian Martin Middlebrook and American biographer Diane Middlebrook.
There has also been success on the sporting field, where cricketer James Middlebrook has represented the MCC and William Scott Middlebrooks plays Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox.

Name frequency

In England and Wales, based on data from 2002, there were 826 individuals (730 Middlebrook, 70 Middlebrough & 26 Middlebrooke). This is only about 1 in every 66,000 people.

The name is more frequent in the USA where, based on census data from 2000, there were 6888 individuals (4257 Middlebrooks & 2631 Middlebrook). This is about 1 in every 39,000 people.

Distribution of the name

The historic centres for this name in 16th century England were in West Yorkshire (esp. Craven district), South Yorkshire (esp. Thorne) and south Lincolnshire (esp. Harmston). Subsequent expansion has mainly been towards the industrial areas of Lancashire and the West Midlands. Some discussion can be found here Distribution of the Middlebrook Surname in England.

In the USA, the name is mostly concentrated around the south-eastern states - particularly Georgia, Texas & Alabama. The Middlebrooks variant is especially strong in Georgia, where over 50% of individuals from the 1940 census were found.

Data

Current datasets from the UK include:
* complete index from 1851 and 1901 census returns
* most relevant probate calendars from early times up to 1966
* GRO birth, marriage and death registers 1837-1950
* numerous parish registers - mainly from West Yorkshire

Some of these data can be accessed from my project website at: Middlebrook Databases.

DNA

A DNA project is being managed by the US based Middlebrook(s) Family Association click here for details.
Most of the participants have been from the USA but they are looking to expand the scope of the project worldwide.

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