What is the origin of the last name Brewster?

The last name Brewster has its origins in England and Scotland. It is derived from the Old English word "breowan," meaning "to brew," often denoting someone who brewed or sold ale or beer. The name later evolved into "brewestere" or "brewere" in Middle English, eventually becoming Brewster. This occupational surname was commonly found among families involved in the brewing industry during the Middle Ages. Over time, the name Brewster spread to other parts of the world through migration and remains a recognizable surname today.

Countries of origin for the last name Brewster

The last name Brewster is an English occupational surname derived from the Old English word “brewere,” which means “brewer.” This surname originated from the occupation of brewing beer, indicating that an ancestor of those who bear this name had been involved in this craft. The occupation of brewing beer was prominent in medieval England, and as a result, the surname Brewster likely appeared in various regions of the country.

The Brewster surname can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is recorded as “Briwerra.” Over time, the spelling evolved, and different variations emerged, including Brewester, Brouster, and Bruister. These variations may have been the result of regional pronunciations, dialects, or scribes recording the name differently.

The name Brewster has historical significance and notable connections. One notable individual bearing this surname was William Brewster, a prominent figure in the history of the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. William Brewster was a religious leader and one of the key organizers of the group, serving as an elder and spiritual guide during their journey and early years of settlement.

The surname Brewster is not particularly common in modern times. It ranks as the 3,153rd most common surname in the United States according to the 2010 Census. While the name may not be widespread, individuals with this surname can be found across the country, with notable concentrations in states such as Ohio, Texas, and California.

As with any surname, Brewster may have variations or alternative spellings across different countries and regions. Individuals with the name Brewster may have diverse family histories and ancestries, and it is important to explore specific family lineages to understand the full extent of the name’s origins.

Overall, the surname Brewster is rooted in the occupation of brewing and has historical connections to notable individuals. While it may not be as common as some other surnames, it still holds significance for those who bear it and provides a link to the past. Exploring the genealogy and etymology of the name can unlock further insights and connections, adding depth to individual family histories.

Interesting facts about the last name Brewster

  • The surname Brewster originates from England and Scotland.
  • The name “Brewster” is an occupational surname derived from the Old English word “breowan,” meaning “to brew” or “brewer.”
  • The Brewster surname dates back to at least the 12th century.
  • William Brewster, one of the most famous individuals with the surname, was an English Pilgrim who traveled aboard the Mayflower and became a leader in the Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts.
  • The Brewster surname is fairly common in the United States, particularly in New England.
  • The Brewster family has had numerous notable members, including writers, politicians, and scientists.
  • The Brewster family motto is: “Auctoritas sine pondere,” which translates to “Authority without weight.”
  • Etymologists believe that the original occupation of a brewer was a highly respected and important role, as clean drinking water was not readily available, making brewing beer a vital skill.
  • The Brewster surname has various spelling variations, including Bruster, Brrewster, Brewester, and Broster.
  • In addition to English and Scottish origins, the surname Brewster has also been adopted by individuals of Jewish and Sephardic Jewish descent.
  • Surname distribution maps show that the Brewster name is most concentrated in the United States, particularly in states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

Name Rank


There are around 19564 people with the last name Brewster in the US

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