This is an ancient surname of Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) and Olde English pre 7th century origins. Widely recorded in Germany, where it is sometimes found with the aristocratic "von", England, Scotland and Ireland, it has several possible origins. The name can be residential from one of the many places called Brook or Broke both in England and Germany, or it can be a topographical for somebody who lived by a 'broc'. In Germany this appears to refer to a rocky area but in Britain, it is clearly associated with water, being either a stream or an area of land which flooded in winter time. The very earliest surviving registers are English, and examples from these include what are clearly residential names,William de la Broke of the county of Surrey in the year1208; and Emma de Brokes in Suffolk in 1220. The first recording in Germany is probably that of Johann Broker of Kiel in 1367, and in Scotland Thomas Bruke, a burgess of Aberdeen, in 1483, where the namne has some popularity. Other recordings include Johann Brokes of Lubeck, germany in 1588, and Catherine Brooks, who married Nicholas Thompson by civil licence in London on August 23rd 1594. The surname was one of the first into the New England colonies of America, Cutberd Brooks being recorded as 'dead in Virginea' on February 16th 1623! An interesting recording taken from the Port of New York entry lists, is that of Edward Brooks, aged 18 yrs., a refugee from the 'Potato Famine', who sailed from Ireland on the ship "Ashburton" on March 7th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eustace del Broc, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135.
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