The Broughs of Staffordshire
- A Brief Pictorial History -
The "Brough" Name
"Brough" family of Staffordshire, England, takes its name from
the geographical area of Brough (medieval "Burgh," Latin "Bur
gum"), a hamlet in the south of Ranton (alias Ronton) Parish in South
Pirehill Hundred of the County of Staffordshire, England. The present
Brough Hall stands on the site of the ancient manor house of Brough, close
to the ancient boundary with Gnosall Parish.
The first surviving reference to "Brough"
is in the Doomsday Book of 1086. The book states: "The land of Robert
de Statford: Robert himself holds in Bu(r)ghale one virgate of land which
pertains to Halstone.." "Bu(r)ghale" is taken to represent
the Old English "burh halh," or "Brough hamlet." "Burh"
or "Brough" itself is a common English placename meaning "camp,
fortification, or manorhouse."
In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary
of 1933 lists the following different meanings of the word "Brough":
1) a round tower; 2) the outer wall of a feudal castle; 3) a luminous
ring or circle around a shining body, especially the moon; 4) a halo;
and 5) several concentric circles, varying from one to fourteen feet in
diameter, drawn around each tee (in the game of Quoit, which is somewhat
like horseshoes, in which players throw rings at a peg-or tee-in an effort
to encircle it).
The Broughs of Staffordshire, England
history of the Broughs of Staffordshire, England, begins with the Norman
invasion of England. In the Fall of 1066 AD, William, Duke of Normandy
(France) crossed the English Channel with about 600 ships and 12,000 men,
and defeated King Harold of England and his Anglo-Saxon forces at the
Battle of Hastings. On Christmas Day, 1066, William was crowned King of
England. William--who was eventually known as William the Conqueror--rewarded
his Norman supporters with large grands of land and important positions,
including the granting of many estates to Baron
Ralph de Limesi (Limesy).
In 1199 AD, Philip
fitz Bishop, a great-grandson of Ralph de Limesi, adopted the surname
"de Burgo" from the geographical area of "Burgh,"
a hamlet in Ronton--now Ranton--in southern Staffordshire in central England.
(Ranton is located about five miles west of Stafford.) In the mid-1200's,
the name "de Burgo" was eventually changed to "de Burgh."
In the 1400's, the de Burghs
had established themselves in the areas of Ranton, Brewood and Gnosall,
Staffordshire. By the early 1500's, several de Burgh families had moved
northward and settled in the Leekfrith area of northern Staffordshire.
In the late 1500's through the 1600's, the name "Burgh" gradually
changed to "Brough."
In the early 1500's, several
related Brough families established more than half a dozen principal "Brough
Houses" on the Leekfrith--a large fertile green valley in the northern
Staffordshire Moorlands that is bordered by hills and rocky outcroppings.
(The Leekfrith is only a few miles from the town of Leek, Staffordshire.)
These "Brough Houses" generally contained significant
buildings and land holdings, and were known by their geographical locations
on the Leekfrith. Their names included: Brownsword, Chapel House, Lower
Hulme, Middle Hulme,
Roche Grange, Upper Hulme, Waterhouse
It is the Brough Houses of Middle
from which many members of the Richard
Brough Family Organization (RBFO) decend. (Footnote: Ann Brough
Hind has written, "These 'Brough Houses'--or Medieval Hall-houses
for lesser gentry and yeomen with significant land-holdings--included
Brownsword, Middlehulme, Waterhouse and Windygates. Chapel House and the
New and Roche Granges were bought from Dieulacres monastic manor after
From the early 1500's to the present, the
descendants of the Broughs of Leekfrith have continued to live in northern
Staffordshire and nearby counties. Between 1500 and 1650, the Broughs
of Leekfrith used the "Brough"
Coat of Arms of "Argent (white), on a saltire (diagonal cross)
of sable (or black), five swans of the first (five white swans)".
In the 1700's, several Brough families moved
from the Leekfrith into the nearby areas and/or parishes of Biddulph,
Burslam, Congleton, Horton, Ipstones, Longton, Rushton Spencer, Trentham
By the 1800's and early 1900's, a number
of descendants from various Brough-related families in Staffordshire--including
some of the descendents of Richard Brough
and Mary Horleston--left England and emigrated to Utah in the United
States, and to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
of the Broughs of Staffordshire, England
The early ancestors of the Broughs of Leekfrith,
Staffordshire have been extensively researched, and although there are
still many unanswered questions about their ancestry it presently appears
that their lineage may have been as follows:
Hugo de Limesi,
b.abt.1015, of Pays de Caux, Normandy, France
Ralph de Limesi,
b.abt.1040, of Alost, Limesy, Normandy, France
Limesi, b.abt.1063, of Chester, Cheshire, England
Limesi, b.abt.1110, of Brough Hall, Ranton, Staffordshire, England
Hamon de Burgo,
b.abt.1145, of Ranton, Staffordshire, England
Hamon de Burgo
b.abt.1172, of Ranton, Staffordshire, England
Hamon de Burgo,
b.abt.1205, of Gnosall, Staffordshire, England
John de Burgo,
b.abt.1239, of Ranton, Staffordshire, England; married Alice
Elias de Burgh,
b.abt.1275, of Ranton, Staffordshire, England
Burgh, b.abt.1305, of Ranton, Staffordshire, England
Elias de Burgh,
b.abt.1345, of Ranton, Staffordshire, England; married Alice
Elias de Burgh,
b.abt.1380, of Brewood, Staffordshire, England; married Isabel
Burgh, b.abt.1415, of Brewood, Staffordshire, England; married Joan
Burgh, b.abt.1450, of Brewood, Staffordshire, England; married Alice
and Alice de Burgh had at least three sons: Thomas Burgh (b.abt.1480),
Robert Burgh (b.abt.1488),
and William Burgh (b.abt.1496). These three sons married, had children,
in the Leekfrith area of northern Staffordshire, England. The descendants
of these three sons
now number in the thousands and many of them resident in Europe, North
and New Zealand.
Presently, the above listed lineage and
the related genealogies of the Broughs of Staffordshire, England, are
listed within the "Genealogies"
section of the BFO website.
In October 2015, the BFO produced a PDF
File containing information on the Ancestors
and Descendants of the Broughs of England [including those of Staffordshire],
Down to Those Who Settled in Utah, Using Biblical, Mythological, Traditional,
and Historical Sources.