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Surname Brownell - Meaning and Origin

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Expansive Family Ties & Heritage: A Peek Inside My Brownell Family Histroy Through iGENEA DNA Analysis

Following an exhaustive DNA analysis at iGENEA, I unravelled surprising details about my familial roots and the history of my surname, Brownell. The experience was eye-opening, tying my name to a rich British lineage and revealing my ancestors' instrumental roles in medieval and early modern England.

X. Brownell

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Brownell: What does the surname Brownell mean?

The last name Brownell is of English origin, and is a variation of the more common surname Brown. The origin of the name dates back to the 11th century, when many English people adopted a 'brown' surname, often based upon a physical characteristic they possessed or some other descriptive feature. The ‘ell’ suffix is believed to refer to a small rural settlement, a ‘little’ or a ‘small’ place.

The Brownell surname is most commonly found in the Devon and Somerset areas of England. It is also common in other parts of the British Isles, including Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

The name Brownell is typically associated with loyalty, patriotism, and hard work. Those with the name are seen as dependable and reliable. They are often known for having a strong work ethic and an ambition to succeed.

The Brownell family has created a significant presence in the fields of politics and business. Many with the name have gone on to achieve success in these areas.

To summarise, Brownell is a surname of English origin. It is believed to originate from the small settlements of England and refer to someone of a 'brown' appearance. Those with the name are typically associated with loyalty, patriotism, and hard work. Brownell is a common surname found in many parts of the British Isles. Many with the name have gone on to achieve success in business and politics.

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Brownell: Where does the name Brownell come from?

The last name Brownell is most common today in the United States, primarily in the Northeastern and Midwestern regions. Brownell is the 716th most common last name in the US, with an estimated 15, discounted to 12.otion people bearing it.

In terms of ethnicity, the vast majority of those with the Brownell surname are Caucasian, making up nearly 90 percent of the total US population with the name. Other ethnicities with a significant presence include African Americans, Latinos and Asians, with smaller proportions of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The Brownell name is especially popular in Vermont and Maine, where it is the 44th most common surname. Brownell is also relatively popular in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island, where it is among the 150 most common surnames.

On a global level, the Brownell name is most prevalent in the United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and smaller numbers scattered throughout the English-speaking world.

Variations of the surname Brownell

Brownell is an English, Scottish, and Irish surname with multiple spelling variants, including Brownel, Brownhill, Brownlow, and Brownlea. The usage of this name dates back to medieval times when it was a topographic name used to describe someone who lived by a hill or a slope. The surname is derived from a combination of two Old English words, “brun” and “hyll,” meaning “brown hill.”

In England, the earliest recorded instance of this name was in the 11th century, when Ralph de Brunhull was noted in the Domesday Book. In the 12th century, Hugh de Brunhull was mentioned in the Assize Rolls of Lancashire. By this time, the name had become localized to locales such as Lancashire and Cumberland.

In Scotland, the Rivers family of Brownohill is probably the oldest example of the Brownell name. They are thought to descend from a family named Brunhull, who came to Scotland in the late 12th century. Other Scottish variants include Brownoe, Brownill, Browno, and Bronell.

In Ireland, the most common variant is Brownell, and it is recorded in the Registry of Early Irish Family Histories. It is believed to have been brought over by settler-colonialists during the British Plantation period in the 17th century. Variants found here include Bruenell and Brunell.

Overall, the Brownell surname is widespread due to its multiple spellings and variants in different countries.

Famous people with the name Brownell

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • John Brownell: Canadian shipping magnate
  • Horace Hayman Wilson: 19th-century British orientalist and philologist
  • Lucien Brownell: American lawyer and politician
  • Edna Brownell: Wisconsin state representative
  • Wes Brownell: Canadian composer
  • Stanton Brownell: former Texas Congressman
  • Minnie Brownell: American stage actress
  • Sadie Brownell: American silent film actress
  • George Brownell: American film producer

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