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BROOKES Family History

This ancient surname, of Olde English origins, is according to conventional wisdom, habitational from one who lived at one of the villages called Brook, or who lived by a brook. However, recent research suggests that for many nameholders their origin was job-descriptive, deriving from the post 1066 Norman French "broc", a word which translates as "pitcher" or "ewer", and as such was a metonymic for one who delivered fresh water from such a vessel. A curiosity of the name is that whilst the spelling form of Brooke(s) is consistently found throughout England, in the form of Brook, which is the (apparent) locational spelling, it predominates only in Yorkshire, where there are no placenames of Brook! The surname development is one of the earliest on record (see below), and examples include: William de la Broke of Surrey in 1208 (locational), and Richard Brock of Worcestershire (1275), which is job-descriptive...

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