Through these pages I'm hoping to share knowledge about Brougham Family History, the research I and others have done, and for it to act as a community forum where peope can ask their questions. I've been researching my Brougham Family History for 30 years now but inevitably hit a few brick walls as historical documents no longer exist. Hopefully you can find something on these pages that may just help you. With the rise in digital records there's lots out there now to really help the family historian. Through the wider pages of All Things Brougham you'll find lots more information about Brougham, including the first Lord Brougham, Baron and Vaux, Brougham Hall, Brougham Castle and my family history blog. Take a browse around and let us know how you get on.
Origins of the Brougham name
Brougham is a habitational name, individuals taking the name of the location where they come from. In theory Brougham's receive their name from the village of Brougham near Penrith in Cumbria, Northern England. At Brougham, are the ruins of Brougham Castle and Brougham Hall. The area is predominantly farming land on the edge of the Lake District National Park to the south west, the Peninines to the north east and the Yorkshire Dales to the south east. In Ontario, Canada there is a second Brougham location, a little hamlet near Pickering. This Canadian Brougham is possibly about to disappear to make way for a new city airport. As with many of these North American place names they largely have British origins. Brougham, Pickering and Durham all have a northern England namesake.
There are a few theories as to how the village of Brougham, on the outskirts of Penrith derived its name. The first theory is that it comes from the old Roman Fort name, Brocavum, on which the castle is now built. A second is that it is a combination of the words for brow of a hill, bru, and the homestead name, ham, bru-ham. A third theory is that it is linked to the nearby castle location of Brough and again, ham, but this feels too obvious. A fourth is a combination of Burgh meaning fortification and ham. The de Burgham family were the first recorded owners of Brougham Hall.
There have been many corruptions and derivations of the surname with some Broughams being incorrectly named brougham following misspellings and misinterpretation of names in years gone by when there were less people who could read and write. Derivations include Broom(e), Browham, Broghan, Browme, Brufham, Browholme, Broham and many others. Some of these stand in their own right, others have become confused with Brougham, as Brougham has become confused with others making the job of the Brougham genealogist that bit more difficult. There is an interesting article on the Burgham Family History Society website on whether the
Burgum and Burgham are in fact the same as Brougham. On probabability they argue probably not. See here