Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Glasebrook, Glasebrooke, Glassbrook, Glazebrooke
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Mr Turk Glazebrook
Surname Origin and Distribution
The Glazebrooks took their name from the village of Glazebrook, which was probably so called from the broad stream by which it was bounded, on the east, by the river Glass or Glasebrooke derived from Glass or Glase and brook, meaning a blue/green brook (old Welsh + old English). Geoffrey de Glasbroc is mentioned in a document dated 14 January 1227 regarding an oxgang of land in Billsborough. In 1328 and later years Henry son of Henry, son of Richard, son of Geoffrey de Glasbroc claimed a messuage and three oxgangs, of which Geoffrey had been seized in the time of Henry III. In another dispute over land during the reign of Edward I, dated 1 July 1301, William the son of Geoffrey de Glasebrok is named. The last reference to the Glazebrooks living in Glazebrook is dated 28 March 1402, when Richard de Maston granted to John de Glazebrook a title to premises in Glazebrook. Owing to disputes amongst the various heirs, the Manor eventually passed into the hands of the Rixtons and other families. However, the surname Glassbrook and Glazebrook are still very prominent in Lancashire, especially around Wigan, Bolton and the Manchester area.
Today the main distribution of the surname around the British Isles is London, Derbyshire, Essex, Northamptonshire, Kent, Herefordshire, Cleveland, Middlesex, Yorkshire, and Lancashire, with a small contingent in Ireland.
According to tradition two Glazebrooks went from England to America during the latter part of the seventeenth century and settled in Virginia. These two adventures can be identified as William Glasbrooke recorded in Hotten (p.118) as sailing on the Elizabeth of London 1 August 1635, then aged 21 years, and Roger Glassebrooke who is named in a List of Emmigrants from England to America 1682-92, the entry reads: “Roger Glassebrooke. Bound to John Marden for 4 years in Virginia: Age 27, August 25, 1685: Was lately discharged as a soldier.” With regards to Canada, William Glazebrook was one of the first people to arrive in 1788, to establish the township of Ferguson’s Cove, Nova Soctia. He was born 1767 in England, and died Ferguson’s Cove 1839. As yet it has not been possible to identify from where he came as William is quite a common Christian name.
The original population of Australia mainly consisted of convicts sentenced to transportation. There are several instances of Glazebrooks being transported to New South Wales and Tasmania, but the bulk of those families now settled on the continent emigrated from the British Isles of their own free will.
Mark Lower in his Patronymica Britannica (London, 1860) states that Glazebrook is a recent southern corruption of Grazebrook, and proceeds to say that the Grazebrooks of Staffordshire and Gloucestershire descend from Gersberg, Gersebroc, or Greysbrook, which manor they held with others in fee from the Norman Conquest. Although I have found the name written as Glazebrook in some parish registers it normally reverts to the correct spelling. However, we cannot entirely rule out the fact that this attribution may have changed the surname at some point in the past, but generally they are two distinct names.
Christopher J. Glazebrook, Licentiate in Heraldry and Genealogy: Founder of the Northamptonshire Family History Society.
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