Last name: Brazil

Recorded in several spellings including Brassill, Brazil, and Breazeall, this surname has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the South American country. It is Irish, and was formerly only recorded in ancient times in the County of Wexford, in the south east cormer of the country. It derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic O' Breasail, which translates literally as "The descendant of the one involved in strife". Almost all true Gaelic surnames have a nickname as the base, and usually from ten centuries or more ago. These base names referred to the real or supposed characteristics of the then chief. Some of these characteristics were very robust indeed, and included such meanings as "ugly head" or "fickle", which not everybody would regard as complimentary. This does not seem to have worried the people of ancient times, suggesting perhaps that to them the meaning at the time, may have been different from today's interpretation. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic surviving records and charters include William Braseile, the son of John Braseile, christened at the church of St John the Baptist, Dublin, on November 7th 1652, Thomas Brazil, a witness at the town of Waterford, on October 19 1863, and Hannah Brassell, a witness at the town of Newmarket on Fergus, on July 22nd 1864.

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Walter Brazil

As an Irish Brazil, technically it's NOT pronounced like the country at all. Like most Irish place and personal names, it's an anglicized version of a Gaelic name. It's a whole lot more sure because Gaelic (the Irish language) actually has less consonants than English. There is no J, no K, no Q, no V, no W, no X, no Y and no Z. That's not to say in Gaelic those sounds don't exist, but they are created by other collections of letters. So, v sounds are created by bh or mh - that's seen in names like Siobhan (shove awn) and Niamh (Neeve). So Brazil came from Ui Bhreasail or O'Bhreasail - Ui and O mean 'from' just as 'Mc' or 'Mac' mean 'son of'. So O'Bhreasail is O Vra-seal but on being made into English turned to Brazil Brasil Brassil Brazell Brazzell and a few variants. None are a more correct spelling than the other, they are just English spelling variants of a Gaelic name. But some of the variants show how the phonetic pronunciation of Brazil as the country is a variation from the roots of the name... So Brazil is pronounced in Ireland as Braz-al or the I is pronounced very shortly so instead of braz-IL it's BRAZ- il. It's kind of hard to explain in text. Saying that, when you leave Ireland, trying to convince the rest of the English speaking world to pronounce it correctly is just too big a task and eventually you defer to pronouncing it like the country for the sake of an easy life! Therefore any non-Irish Brazil will only be used to the standard English pronunciation.

Tom Brazzel

I am a Brazil as well but when my great grandfather came here the name was changed from Brazil to Brazzel

Walter Brazil

So Tom, your forefathers varied the spelling to more accurately reflect the phonetics of the name as pronounced by the Irish! All the variants are probably an English landlords effort to document what they would have seen as 'an unpronounceable' name. Language, even names, are fluid. And variations would have been written at ports when entering the Americas as well as other scenarios. Your grandfather would have pronounced it 'correctly' and the person giving him leave to remain, spelled it as he heard it said. So if you pronounce it 'correctly' (and I'm being purist) then Brazell is a more correct phonetic spelling than Brazil!

Paul Brazil

Hy-Brasil is a vanishing island off the west coast of Ireland. the name Brazil is older then the Celts. Breas was the King of the Tuath Dé danna known as Breas the beautiful. Most Brazils come from his line if not all.

Claudia Grisenti
Anyone related to a James Brazil who came from Ireland in about 1848? Married to Elziabeth Wilson and had sons named William, David Henry, Patrick, James. Buried in San Pierre, Starke, Indiana, died 1894. Would like to find out where he came from in Ireland. David Henry was my great-grandfather, James my great-great-grandfather.

A. Brazil

Check out Ballylongford in County Kerry, Ireland. The town clerk was helpful in a search of which I have been made aware.... Best in your search.

John Brazil
Anyone know of the 'link' to the Portuguese Brazils? My father is from the island of Terceira in the Azores Islands, and on that island is a Mount Brasil (Portuguese spelling)

Traolach O'Breasail (Brazil)
Breas was king of the Tuath Dé danna and he was know as Breas the beautiful

Traolach O'Breasail (Brazil)
Brazil the name comes from an ancient King of the tuath Dé dannan who were a tribe that inhabited ireland before the Celts arrived,,,, Im fro limerick in Ireland and the name comes from waterford and armagh

Patrick Brazzel
My grandfather was John Terence Brazil from Limerick Ireland. He immigrated to the States sometime in the early 20th century. Somehow the name was changed at Ellis Island to Brazzel and it stayed that way. I know he had at least two brothers, one was Patrick and he came to America and the other was Thomas Brazil who remained behind in Limerick.

@ Elijha.
The main reason so many African Americans have Irish names is due to the interbreeding of Irish slaves and African ones in the 1500s, mainly in Jamaica, but also elsewhere in the carribean. Irish is the second most prevalant ethniticy in Jamaican genes after African. Google Irish jamaicans

So one of my ancestors could have been a slave but from where and how would i go about finding out, our last name is so different that it has to have some sort of story behind it.

Mike Brazil
im a Brazil born in minnesota usa. My ancestors left Clonmel in the late 1860'S my Great great great great great? grandfather was Maurice Brazil died 1870 in clonmel. i do not know his father or where he was born. a few points. hy-Brazil was represented on the map as a circle with a line through it. that was the way a cartogropher circa 1800's and before indicated an island with a river when no specific coastal features were known. on old maps you see other islands represented the same way. the link to the country Brasil's flag is purely a coincident. Barrack Obama's father was a black man from Kenya but his Mother was a white woman from Kansas. he was largely raised by his maternal Grand mother who was a Dunham and had roots to a village in Ireland. Elijha, As an African American it is possible that if your ancesters were slaves in the united states south during the mid 1800's before the abolition that your ancester was given the last name of the slave owner that owned him when he was freed. the same could be true for Shaquille O'neil for example. Brasil the country name has a meaning in portugese as Dye Tree or something due to the amount of trees quite valuable at the time that produced a red dye.

Marc Brazil
Oh Hey.

Ok fellow Brazils has anyone checked out the brazilian flag And see what i meant about the circular object with a line running Straight through the centre. If anybody out there are frends with any people from the country Brazil why don't you ask them what the circle in the centre of their flag signafies and i bet you any money they won't know the answer..............cheers Answers on a postcard please ha ha lol

Haley Brazil
Hi, my last name is Brazil too. I'm from Wisconsin. For those of you who spell there last name with an i, have you ever been at a check out and they ask for your name and you say "so and so" Brazil. Has the cashier ever asked you if you were from Brazil? It happens to me ALL THE TIME! So now I just say like the country and then I have to spell it for them. And whenever people call our name out loud they never pronounce it right, they think it's pronounced any other way except like the country.

Elijha Brazil
I swear to you i get this all the time i am really wondering about my history, who where the people who made it possible for me to be here with the last name brazil, im from florida, and im african american, and my last name is spelled Brazil, like the country, i wonder if any of us are related in anyway, i wonder your the closest brazil i've seen on here.

Elijha....the name brazil is definitely of Irish decent. The reason you're african American is because the Irish have travelled the continent of africa spreading christiannity And some along the line an Irishman married into the local popluation.....i mean look at barrack Obama he can trace some Of his roots back to a village in Ireland........cheers

James Brazil
Another Brazil here, from Cork. Always told the name was a waterford one, as mentioned by others. First i have heard of that hy-brasil legend!

Patrick Brazil
If you say it correctly, they always spell it wrong! Even when you say "Just like the country". If you say it incorrectly like the country in South America my dad and grandpa roll over in their graves and I get discriminated against for being Hispanic. I wish I was kidding. I almost started thinking we came from the country Brazil till I looked up the white pages in Dublin. Not many of us in Washington State so it's always a conversation starter. Haven't heard the Hy-brazil conspiracy before, sounds interesting, I'm going to check that out. The official history is the Brazil side of my family fled to Newfoundland during the potato famine, then on to New York and WA. state. The other story is our Brazil family fled Ireland to avoid prosecution. The latter is probably the true story.

A Brazil

Was that in 1812 perchance? from County Kerry? Ballylongford? My cousin has obtained a copy of a note from the father of two sons who went to NL that year. Our ancestral line remained in NL however.

Chris brazil
Ok fellow brazil's Check this out''''Everybody says that there is no Link between the mythical island of hy-brazil and The country brazil....correct? Well that's all wrong...according to stories told by sailors that have been to hy-brazil and the old charts from the 1700's showing the whereabouts of hy-brazil The island is said to be circular with a river running straight through the middle of it. Now have a look at the Brazilian flag. whats in the middle of it ( a circular ball with a line through The middle of it ) Check it out for yourself?...Thanks...

Karren Brazel
I get more and more curious.....I married into the Brazel family and it turns out that the 'Michael Brazil' came out to Australia (in 1833) as a convict, but because he couldn't read nor write they gov or whoever wasn't sure how to spell his last name, it was only 1 generation down that the Brazil name was then spelt with an 'e'. Michael Brazil was born in 1814 Manchester UK, his mother was Elizabeth Pigott and its said that his father is Martin, but not sure. I was also told that back way when ??? The Brazil's were from nobility... a distance relative of my husband had visited Ireland and when it came about that he was a Brazel... the waitress had said.... A Brazel, Irish nobility we have here.... does anyone have thought on this?

joseph brazil
my name joseph brazil and im from waterford i cant believe that brazil is an irish name i only looked it up for laughs

olby brazil
another gyipsy bazil here from kent south east origanated from surry

Walter Brazil
Gosh this explanation of the surname is new to me mainly! I'm not sure you can 100% say that there is NO link to the country at all when there is the alternative explantion that the Uí Breasail name is linked to Hy-Brasil island... Now, if you think the naming of a family after a mythical place is weird it's the theory that the early cartographers mistook Brazil (Brasil) for Hy-Brasil that get perfectly ridiculous... Google Hy-Brasil and or Wiki it. Implausible as it all is, it's a far better story than the explanation given here and we Irish do like a story.... I live in London these days and meet a fair few brazilians thus (of the country). They are amused by the story that their country is named after my family and not the other way round...

Elijha Brazil
Im a brazil in the U.S. trying to figure something out about my family history, my fathers from miami florida anyone have any leads

Patrick Brazil
The name Brazil originates from Waterford and we bred like rabbits so were all over Ireland and in other country's also, were a sophisticated bunch , were every where :) lol at the saki fella ;)

Patrick Brazil
saki who are your family because i have family in Waterford aswell ;) lol

Tom Brazil
Another brazil here! of gypsy heritage origianally from ireland now east anglia

Irene Brazil
Hi. I'm another Brazil and our family came from Cork

Laura Brazil
:D that's my surname. My Grandad's side of the family (where we get the name from) is from Tipperary though.

Saki brazil
The name is of Waterford and not Wexford