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Breckinridge was accepted by CDSNA as a sept after 1995.

Variations include Brackenridge, Brahenridge, Brakenbury, Brackenrige, Brachenrig,e Brecenrigg, Brecenrig, Breckinridge, Breckenridge, Breckinrige, Breckinrigg, Breconrig, Breconrigg, Breckenrig, Breckenrigg, Braikenridge, Braikinrigg, Braikinrig, Braikinridge, Braikinrige.

Dr. George F. Black, in his "The Surnames of Scotland", 1946, writes,

"The names Breckenridge and Brackenridge are confined mainly to Lanarkshire and Ayrshire. The surname is derived from the lands of Brackenrig in the old Barony of Avondale in Lanarkshire." Dr. Black mentioned the name as having been in use as "John of Bracaniyggis in Glascow in 1454 and Brackanrig in 1505."

Brackenridge Surname History states,

The Brackenridge surname can be traced back to the fifteenth century in lowland Scotland and northern England where it appears in a variety of private papers and public records. Most frequently, however, it is associated with Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, and the environs of Glasgow. Variant spellings are common: Brackenridge, Breakenridge, Breakinridge, Breckenridge, Breccinridge, or Breckenridge. The earliest spellings, however, end with “rig” rather than “ridge,” suggesting an agricultural context: Brecenrigg, Brecenrig, Breckinrigg, Breconrig, Breconnrigg, etc. (A rig is the space between the furrows in a plowed field and by extension refers to the field itself.) Bracken is an undesirable wide-leafed fern that flourishes in the moist Scottish soil and is eaten by animals only as a last resort. Before Scots adopted modern agricultural practices, fields were broken up in medieval fashion into small plots separated by built-up rigs or mounds (ridges)on which weeds such as bracken proliferated. “Bracken rigs” possibly described the fields in which our ancestors labored and eventually became a family name.

The surname apparently is derived from the lands of Brackenrig in the old Barony of Avondale in Lanarkshire. Early references include “the yard of John Bracanrygg in Glasgow” (1454) and the mention of Robert Brakinrig as a witness to a letter of reversion (1504). In 1629 a William Brackinrig in Clevens complained of having been assaulted and in 1654 John Breckenrig is noted as having been a servitor in Lanarkshire in 1654. As far back as 1600, the name appears in the Edinburgh Marriage Register in the forms Brakinrig, Brackenrig, Braikinrig, and Brackenrigg. An entry from the Eastwood [near Glasgow] Parish Kirk Session Records, 20 November 1708 reads: “John Breakenridge was brought before the Session for cursing, swearing, and profanation of the Sabbath Day and fined 30 shillings Scots.”

History of the Name Brakenridge says,

The name is believed to be descended originally from the Strathclyde Britons. This ancient founding race of the north were a mixture of Gaelic/Celts whose original territories ranged from Lancashire in the south, northward to the south bank of the river Clyde in Scotland.

Brakenridge was found in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at the manor and lands of Brackenrig in the old barony of Avondale in Lanarkshire. The earliest reference was in 1332 of a Nicholas de Bracanrig, then in 1454 when John of Bracanryggis was mentioned in the charters of that date. John Brakanryg was the Sergeant of the Upper Barony of Renfrew in 1454. The family seat evolved as Ashfield Park. The name moved south to Durham and they were seated at Sellaby and in general changed to the more English spelling of Brackenbury. Notable amongst the family at this time was George Brackenridge of Ashfield Park, county Tyrone.

In The Manuscripts of the Duke of Hamilton, K.T., the name is a place name, the lands of Bracanrig, closely associated with the Dalyell family and numerous charters between the Hamilton’s and the Dalyells confirm this. 

§ 3. Charters relating to the family of Dalyell of Bracanrig in Lanarkshire, 1 400- 1525.

38. Transumpt of Charter by King Robert the Third, confirming a charter, dated at Edinburgh, 6th May 1400, by David Fleming, lord of Bygar and of Lenze, granting to his beloved and special (friend). Sir John of Dalyell, knight, for his service done and to be done the whole lands of Brakanryg, lying within the barony of Strathavan in the sheriffdom of Lanark. To be held to Sir John and his heirs, of the granter and his heirs in fee and heritage, for performing yearly three pleas in the granter's courts to be held at Strathavan at the three principal pleas. With clause of warrandice. Witnesses to Fleming's charter, Sir Patrick of Graham, lord of Kincardine, and Sir William of Dalyell, lord of Eliok, knights, William of Hamilton, younger, Andrew of Hamilton, Hugh of Awldynston, and John of Uchiltre. Confirmation dated at Linlithgow, 3 June 1400. Transumpt made at the instance of Peter of Dalyell of Carlo wry, and dated at Edinburgh, llth March 1464-5, John Stewart of Cragy, Edward Mowbray, Henry of Preston, and Thomas Layng, notary public, witnesses.

39. Charter by Malcolm Flemyng, lord of Cummirnald and of Lenze, granting to his beloved friend Robert of Dalzel, son of the late Sir John of Dalzel, knight, lord of Easter Carlowry, the lands of Bracanrig, in the barony of Strathavon and sheriffdom of Lanark, which lands Dalzel had resigned; to be held to Dalzel and his heirs male of his body born or to be born, whom failing, to his nearest and lawful heirs whomsoever, of the granter and his heirs, lords of Cummirnald, in fee and heritage, for performing three pleas in court, etc. With clause of warrandice. Dated at Cummirnald, sixth July 1437. Witnesses, Robert Flemyng, son and heir of the granter, William

Somervil, son and heir of Thomas Somervil, lord of Carnvith, William Boyd of Badynhath, William of Cleland of Clelandton, Thomas of Dalzel of Buthax. Seal gone.

40. Notarial instrument narrating that in presence of the notary and witnesses under written, John of Dalzell of Bracanrig produced a charter of the lands of Brownside, sealed with the seal of the lord of Darnlie, bearing quarterly fess-cheques and fleur-de-lis, and on its circumference “sigillum Alani Stewart diii de Dernle," which charter the notary read to the effect that Alan Stewart, Lord of Dernle, granted to Robert of Dalzell of the Bracanrig for his service done and to be done during his whole lifetime, the lands of Brown syde, lying in the barony of Strathavan in the sheriffdom of Lanark, to be held to Dalzell his heirs and assignees of the granter and his heirs in fee and heritage, for rendering'yearly three suits of court at the granter's three capital pleas (placita) at Elaiietoun.

With Hamilton clause of warrandice. Dated at Cruxtoun, 5th December 1429 ; witnesses, — John Simpyll, lord of Elzottstoun, Robert Stewart of Cragoufak, William of Maxwell of Akynheyd, Alexander Stewart of Rase. After the publication of this charter John of Dalzell demanded instruments from the notary, or a transumpt. These things were done in the town of Lanark, in the lodging of William Bell, burgess there, on 27 May 1447, before Sir Robert Hasty, chaplain, Alan of Dalzel, Thomas of Lowys, and Robert Hasty.

41. Charter by John of Dalzel, lord of Brakanryg and of the half part of Threpwode, granting to Hugh Cambell, brother of Sir George Cambell, knight, lord of Loudoun and sheriff of Ayr, and to Katrine of Blare, his spouse, conjointly and separately and the survivor of them, and to the heirs and assignees of Hugh, the three merk land of old extent, of his lands of Brakanryg, lying in the barony of Strathavan, within the sheriffdom of Lanark, with the houses and mansion which at the time of writing Thomas Miciiaelson inhabited ;to be held to Hugh and Katrine of the granter and his heirs in fee and heritage, for rendering one penny Scots yearly at Whitsunday in name of blench farm, if asked. Dated at Glaysteyr, 12 April 1451. No witnesses. Seal of granter appended. Shield bearing the device of a human figure, naked, with right arm extended outward from the body, the elbow somewhat bent, while the left arm hangs down by the side. Legend S. Iohannis DE DaLYEL.

42. Instrument of Sasine (not notarial), written in the vernacular in the following terms "Sen merltabil and medful thyng is to ber vitnes to the schoutfastnes and mast in the cause qhuar in the consellyn of schutfastnes may hurt or ingenir pregatys till innocentis, her-for it is yat I Jhone of Dalzel of the Brakynreg and of the half of the Threpwode berris trow and schoutfast vitnes that I my schelf witht myn avne hande gaf heritabil stat and sesyn of forty selynvort of my landis of the Brakynreg of aid extent Hand within the scherafdom of Lanark within the barony of Strathaven til Hochon Cambel brothir to Schir Gorg Carabel, scheraf of Ayr, and to Katrina of Blar his spous and to the langar lefand of thaim and to the ayrris and the assignas of the said Hochon fra me and myn arris in fe and heritag for euirmar efter the tenor of his charter the qhuelk I mad til hym and tham thar apon befor thir vitnes qhuen I gaf the said Huchon and Katrina heritabil stat and sesyn in propir person, Gorg Cambel of the Galston, Gawyn the Rose of the Haynyn, Gorg Mur vmqhuel son til AUaxander Mur, William Bard of the Kerkvode, Jamis of Cunigame son til Androw Cunigam of Grougar, Schir Robert Haste. In the witnes of the qhuelk thyng I the said Jhone of Dalzel has put to my sel with myn awn hand at the Brakynreg the four and thuenty day of the monetht of Aperil the zer of our Lord a thousand four hundretht fifte and ane zer. [Seal gone.]

43. Charter by John of Dalzel, lord of Brakynreg, etc., granting to the same Hugh Campbell and Katrine his wife, the two merk lands of old extent of Brunsyde, lying in the barony of Strathavan and sheriffdom of Lanark with the houses and mansion which at the time of writing William Hardgrep inhabited ; To be held for one penny yearly in name of blench farm. With clause of warrandice. Dated at Glayster, 5th September 1451. No witnesses. Seal appended, in good condition. [A document in the vernacular, in terms similar to No. 42 supra, states that sasine of the lands of *' the brown syde " was given by the granter's own hand in terms of his charter ** red apon the ground of that ilk OF THE DUKE or befor thir wytnes James of Douglas of Peryston, Jon of Daizell my ' brother, Schir Eobert Hasty, chaplane, Thomas Hasty, Will Hardgryp, Jon Donaldson, Thorn Smyth, John Sper." 5th September 1451.]

44. Letters by the same John of Dalzelle, appointing the same Hugh and Katrine as his procurators "giffande and grantande to the forsaide Huchon and Katryn his spouse coniontly and seuerally and to thair substitutis and assyngnais quhatsumeuer tlaai be, my ful and playn power and special mandment to tak up lift and rayse and resafe and in thair use to turn als mekil of my malis and annuale rentis and ony othir my gudis and profytis of my landis of the Brownside and of the Brakanrige and of the Threpewod as my gude modir Annas of Hamylton or ony in hir name or ony otheris thruch cause of me vptakis or sal vptak of the landis of the Brownside " of which lands Hugh and Katrine are infeft in terms of the preceding charters. Dated at the granter's place of the Sandyholm, 20th December 1451. Witnesses "Georg Mur sone quhilom til Alexander Mur of the Lymflar, Thorn Inglice duellande in Lowdon in the tym of the makyng of thir present letteris, Schir Robert Hastee, chapellan, and Thom Hastee.

45. Bond by the same John of Dalzell to the same Hugh Campbell, in the vernacular. "Be it kend till all men be thir present letteris me Jhon of Dalzel of the Brakynreg and of the half of the Threpwod for til be bundyng and stratly oblisit and throw the tenor of thir present letteris stratly bandis and oblisis me be the fatht and treuth of my body the hale evangel tvycht til ane worthy man Hochon Cambel brothir to Schir Georg Cambel, knight, Lord of Lowdon and Scheraf of Air, that I the forsaid Jhon of Dalzel sal nothir sel, set, na in wodset na formal tak, na analy na na condecion mak of nan of thir landis vndyr wertyn, that is to say, thuenty schelynworth in the Sandeholm an hunder schelynworth in the Threpwod and fife mark in Torbrekkis and thua mark in Kilcadzowlaw thua mark in the Farholme and an hunder schelyn in the Brakynreg and sex mark in the Brunsyde and half a mark in the Bruncastel, but lefe askit and gifPyn of the forsaid Hochon be his letter and sele of witnasyng of lefe, this condecion lelely and trouly to be kepit for al the dayis and tym of me the said Jhone of Dalzel for al the dayis of my life and gif it hapnis me the forsaide Jhon of Dalzel to brek this condecion in all or in part than I oblis me in thre hundir raarkis and gud and vsuel monetht of Scotlande to be payit to the saide Hochioun his airis excecuturis and assignes on the he autar in the kerk of Lowdoun at anys and togedyr, within thuenty dayis efter this condecion beand brokyne the qhuelk condecion the said Jhon was oblisit to me caus of sertan sum of siluer and golde the qhuelk I deliuerit til hyme be caus of mariag of his son and air ; and al thir landis for-nammyt ar fre of ony analynacion as is befor-wertyn, the day of the makyn of thir present letteris, and al thir condecionis lelely and trowly to be kyepit but fraud or gile or ony excepcion I haf geffyn the fatht of my body the haly ewangel tvycht ; in the witnes of the qhuelk thyng I the said Jhone has put to the sele of myn armis with myn awne hand at the Glastyr the ferde day of the monetht of Septembar the zer of our lorde a thousand four hundretht fifte and ane zer. Seal appended.




Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning, and History. Edinburgh: Birlinn, 1993. Print.


Brackenridge Surname History. http://brackenridge.net/history/the-brackenridges/


Hamilton, William A. L. S. D.-H, and William Fraser. The Manuscripts of the Duke of Hamilton, K.t. London: Printed for H.M. Stationary Off., by Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1887. Print.


History of the Name Brakenridge. http://www.brak.bizux.com.au/history.htm