Brophy Family History

Friday 31 August 2012 at 07:13 am.


Brophy Family History

A surname, often referred to as a last name or family name, is a name passed down through a family from generation to generation. Though each culture has its own norms, in the West the surname is typically inherited from the paternal (father’s) line. In ancient times, people were often referred to by their given name and place alone. Hereditary surnames developed to distinguish individuals with the same first name, a necessity as world populations grew—it wasn’t until the 11th century that surnames began to be used throughout Europe.

Perhaps you’ve wondered, ‘What does my last name mean?’ In fact, the answer may be right in front of you. Most surnames were originally derived from a father’s given name, e.g., “Hanson” (the son of Han); from places or geographical features, “Hill”; occupations, “Fisher”; or personal descriptions like “White.” Please bear in mind, surnames may have changed spellings or been replaced entirely over time.

This report will provide you with a rich introduction into the history of your surname, deepening your knowledge of and connection to your ancestors.

Coat of Arms
View Person Surname

A Coat of Arms is a unique, heraldic design used by a person or family. In some European countries the Coat of Arms was given traditionally to one person exclusively, and was passed down from father to son as legal property. Women of the family may have used the emblem as well, marking their relation to the male relative. This is one example of a historic Brophy Coat of Arms.

Surname Statistics

Concentration of "Brophys" in the United States

285 - 568
96 - 284
1 - 95
Surname Variants

After centuries of use, surname spellings may have varied drastically over time. This may be the result of an intentional or unintentional change made by your ancestors. It means you should incorporate typical surname variants or misspellings into your ancestor search, to ensure you don’t miss an important piece of the puzzle. Here are some common Brophy surname variants:

Soundex: Baharav, Baharoff, Baharov, Bahih Harvey, Bairbey, Bair-Bey, Bairfi, Barab, Baraba

Metaphone: Bairfi, Baraev, Baraf, Baraff, Barafi, Baravo, Barayev, Barayeva, Barefi

History And Origin

Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Bróithe ‘descendant of Bróth', a personal name or byname of unknown origin. Also Anglicized as Broy.

Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, Inc. © 2006 Patrick Hanks

U.S. Census Statistics

Records collected by the government about the U.S. population, like the census, allow us to compile interesting statistics about the Brophy surname. The U.S. government began collecting official population records in Virginia in 1632, and established the federal census in 1790. In recent times, researchers have found that 1,712 surnames cover 50% of the U.S. population, demonstrating that most of us share our surname with a great number of other Americans.

Using the most recent data available, we are able to tell you the concentration of people with your surname in the United States, their average lifespan compared with the national average, and the surname’s rank in popularity. Here is what we can know about Brophys, derived from the U.S. Census and Social Security Death Index.

  •   "Brophy" is 6,983rd most popular name in the U.S.
  •   72 year average lifespan
  •   National Average: 75
Military Records

Many of our ancestors served and fought bravely as members of the U.S. Armed Forces. These men and women are truly the pride of this nation, and we can honor them by remembering their service and sacrifice through military records. The U.S. government has kept personnel records since the first national conflict, though not all are available online. Military records like enlistment records, service records, and pension applications can help to paint a vibrant picture of your ancestor’s life. has found Brophy military records to share with you. These may help you to locate your ancestors who fought to defend and protect this nation.

The Second World War (1939-1945) began with the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the first gesture in what would become a German effort to establish an empire through forcible conquest. The event evolved into a global military conflict, recorded as the deadliest war in world history. Sixteen million Americans heroically served in the armed forces, and 400,000 American deaths will be forever mourned.

We have records that Brophys fought with the Allied forces.

Immigration Records

Anyone with European bloodlines is descended, at least in part, from immigrants. Looking back generations, we’re almost certain to encounter one. From the colonial period onward, waves of immigrants have traveled to the United States searching for a better life, and prosperity. In the 17th and 18th centuries, historians estimate nearly one million immigrants crossed the Atlantic Ocean, settling in Colonial America—including more than 175,000 Englishmen. Millions of Europeans immigrated to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries; 30 million from 1836 to 1914 alone.

Before the 1930s, ship was the only viable mode of transport before trans-Atlantic flight was possible. Ship passenger lists therefore provide information we can use to find out more about where our ancestors came from, and tell us about their voyage. You may learn your ancestor’s place of birth, the ship name, their age, height, eye and hair color, and profession, to name a few.

A quick search reveals that Brophys were among the millions that immigrated to the U.S. over the past several centuries.

In the News

Do you have a famous musician in the family? A patent holder? A politician? These are just a few of the things we can learn about our ancestors from historical newspaper pages; facts that may be documented nowhere else in the world. The U.S. newspaper is a long tradition, stemming back to the first colonial newspapers published in the 17th century. Much as they do today, local publications captured not only national headlines but the day-to-day happenings of American communities.

Preserved newspaper pages enable us to step into the shoes of our ancestors, and not only learn about them personally, but also immerse ourselves in the current events of their day. And it turns out Brophys made the headlines quite a bit.

Additional Information

We‘ve found additional background on the Brophy surname we’d like to share with you.

Brophy is a surname of irish origine. It is derived from the Gaelic Ó Broithe septthat were located mostly in counties Carlow and Kilkenny. A list of some famous Brophy''s:

  • Bernie Brophy (1903–1982), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Brigid Brophy (1929–1995), English writer
  • Charles D. Brophy, American priest, founder of the Cross in the Woods
  • Drew Brophy, American surfboard artist
  • Edward Brophy (1895–1960), American character actor
  • Frank Brophy (1900–1930), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Gerard Brophy, South African and British cricketer
  • Greg Brophy, American politician
  • Harry Brophy (b. 1916), English football player and coach
  • Hugh Brophy, Irish football player
  • James Brophy (1912–1994), Irish cricketer
  • Jay Brophy, American football player
  • Jed Brophy, New Zealand actor
  • John Brophy: see John Brophy disambiguation page
  • Keith Brophy, American programmer and author
  • Kevin Brophy, American actor
  • Paul Brophy (?–1986), American firefighter
  • Philip Brophy, Australian artist
  • Sally Brophy (1928–2007), American actress
See also
  • Brophy - a fictional character in the 1977 comedy film High Anxiety
  • Brophy College Preparatory school in Phoenix, Arizona