Branson Surname Genealogy

The Branson surname is derived from a place-name Branston,
of which at one time there were many – mainly in the
Midlands.   Branston means a farm (tun) cleared by burning (brandr).  Branston pickle
originated from the Branston community of Burton-on-Trent in
Derbyshire.  Other Branstons were in Leicestershire,
Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, and Suffolk.
Branson is the main surname spelling.  But there are some

Branson Resources on

Branson Ancestry

The first surname sightings appear to have been in Suffolk.  A
Gilbert de Branteston can be found in the Suffolk pipe rolls of
1200.  The
will of Edmund Branston
was recorded at Capel St. Mary
in 1465 and these Branstons were there a century or so later.
Then there were Bransons in Berkshire and Leicestershire.

The largest number of Bransons have come from Leicestershire.  The
death of Elizabeth Branson was recorded in Husbands Bosworth in
William Branson was born in Whitwick near Loughborough in the 1740’s
and married
Elizabeth Jesson there in 1762.  Later Bransons were to be found in Whitwick during
the 19th century. 
were Bransons also by the early 1800’s in Nottinghamshire,
Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and Buckinghamshire.

One Branson line started in India in the early 1800’s, but returned to
England and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk later on in the century.
Sir George Branson, born there in 1871, was a judge and Privy
Councillor.  His grandson is the entrepreneur Richard Branson.

America.  Various Bransons
came to America in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s.
One branch were
and came to Chester, Pennsylvania.  Other
Bransons settled in Springfield, New Jersey.  Later Bransons moved
to Virginia and to Missouri where there is a Branson
township in the Ozark mountains today.

“Ruben Branson, a storekeeper and
schoolmaster in his late 20’s, started a general store near the mouth
of the Roark creek and the White river in 1882.  The general store
had a post office called ‘the Branson Post Office.'”

Ruben Branson
died in 1907 and was buried nearby.  Five years later the
town was called Branson.  It is known today as a venue for country
music.  There are not many Bransons in
America, but the largest number of them are in Missouri.

Another Ruben Branson, one covered by his nephew Ivan Branson in his
1982 book Bones of the Bransons,
was to be found in California gold mining country and had roots going
back to Tennessee.

India.  The name Branson in
dates back to the 18th century.  Harry
Wilkins Branson, born there in 1802, was via his son James the forebear
of the
entrepreneur Richard Branson.  Another of
his sons Charles emigrated to New Zealand and ran Branson’s Hotel in
Dunedin.  Gerald Branson, also in Dunedin,
was the son
of William Branson, a Madras

.  Bransons were
farm laborers from Titchmarsh in Huntingdonshire in the early 19th
century and found the going hard.  They decided to emigrate and
they left for South Australia in stages between 1848 and 1853.
Their descendants are numerous there today.

Branson, convicted of sheep
stealing in Leicester at this time, was transported on the Scindian
to Western Australia.
He was able to receive an early pardon because of his rescue of
warder.  He married Margaret Mottram from
Ireland in Perth and they raised ten children.

Branson Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Branson Names

Clive Branson was an
English artist and poet who fought in the Spanish Civil War on the side
of the communists.
William Branson
of Princeton University was a pioneer in the field of international
Richard Branson is the
entrepreneur and media figure who founded the Virgin Group.

Select Bransons Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Leicestershire)
  • 4,000 in America (most numerous in Missouri)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



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