Brake Family History
Brake Name Meaning
English (Somerset and Dorset): topographic name for someone who lived by a clump of bushes or by a patch of bracken. Brake ‘thicket’ and brake ‘bracken’ were homonyms in Middle English. The first is from Old English bracu; the second is by folk etymology from northern Middle English braken -en being taken as a plural ending. After the words had fallen together their senses also became confused. North German: habitational name from any of several places so named notably a town on the Weser River or a topographic name from Middle Low German brāke mening either ‘breach in the dyke’ or ‘brushwood’. Dutch (Te Brake Van de Brake): topographic name from braak ‘wasteland fallow’ or ‘breached (dyke)’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022