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.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

We are currently experiencing a technical fault with our comments system we hope to have it working again shortly, sorry for any inconvenience. (19th of May 2015)

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.

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

dave
@ 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

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

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.

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)

Tom Brazzel

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

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.