Purpose: List information found on the Brion descendants of Jacob Brion who came to Pennsylvania from the Alsace in 1741.

Brion name

Brion French: habitation name from any of several places so called.  Most of them apparently derive from the Gaul. element briga height, hill (cf. Bryan) + the sufx –o(n).  A few are more plausibly derived from Gaul. berria plain, with the same sufx.  The Sp. placename (examples in the provinces of Logroño and La Coruña) and surname Briones is of similar origin.

Distribution of the name is indicated by the table below.  This table is from a publication of Halbert’s Family Heritage.  Halberts probably obtained the numbers from telephone books.  The absolute numbers might be off but the relative distribution should be close.  Countries listed are probably the ones that had easily accessible telephone books.  There is a good-sized Brion population in the Philippines.

Country

Total Households in Registry

Total Estimated Households

Total Estimated Population

Number of Counties, States, Territories, or Provinces Where Households Reside

Most Populous County, State, Territory, Kanton or Province

France

1,279

1,791

4,478

90

Calvados

United States

359

503

1107

37

Pennsylvania

Spain

116

128

426

9

Coruna, La

Great Britain

105

147

368

25

Bucks

Canada

64

90

198

4

Quebec

Italy

55

61

172

18

Treviso

Germany

28

39

98

8

Nordrhein-Westfalen

Australia

16

22

48

5

South Australia

Switzerland

8

11

28

5

Waadt

Netherlands

5

6

15

3

Noord-Brabant

 

The largest group of U.S. Brion(s) is in Pennsylvania.  Most of them are descendants of an immigrant from the Alsace.  Their records appear beginning in the 1740s.  It appears that five from one family came over here, two brothers and three sisters, one of whom was married before she left the Alsace.

If you have not seen Annette Kunselman Burgert’s book, Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Alsace, you should start there for the Pennsylvania Brions.  She believes that Johann Jacob Brion and his brother Abraham came to America in 1741 on the ship Lydia.  If you examine her source you find the name spelled Brio and even Prio but the signatures are signed with an X and the English-speaking person writing the list may have made a mistake with the spelling.  Spelling was not exact in 1741.

Abraham only appears in the records once after his arrival, as a sponsor at a baptism (20 June 1756). My guess is that he left no children.

Jacob probably didn’t get married until about age 39.  He had 4 children between 1752 and 1757.  In 1760 his widow was in court taking care of the estate.  Most of the Pennsylvania Brions are descended from Johann Jacob Brion.  There is a group of Brions in the census records of Pennsylvania in the 1800s with non-Germanic names.  They may have come from England or Ireland.

 

 

Brions not descended from Johann Jacob Brion

The earliest (U.S.) Brion that I have found is a John Brion and from his first name I would guess that he was from Great Britain.  He was living in Maryland in 1665.

Anne and Vidalle Brion were located in New Orleans in 1719.  Pierre Brion was located in New Orleans in 1720. The French sounding names probably came from France or the French-speaking part of Canada.

There are some Brions in the west (California) with Latin sounding given names and they probably came from Mexico or another Latin American country. 

 

Links

Brion Message Board               http://boards.rootsweb.com/surnames.brion/mb.ashx

Brion Mailing List ®                http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/surname/b/brion.html#BRION  Click on Search or Browse (archives) near bottom of screen.

RSL®                                     http://rsl.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/rslsql.cgi  Surname: Enter Brion in the box. Click Submit.

Brion Forum                             http://genforum.com/brion/  Many non-Alsace Brion(s).

Joyce M. Tice                          http://www.rootsweb.com/~srgp/birth/tcbb10.htm Some births from Courthouse Records. (Many other pages of information.)

General information                   http://www.cyndislist.com/   (Not Brion specific.)

 

New Researcher’s FAQs

 

Q.  Why were the first two generations known by their middle names?

A.  see item 1 at http://www.kerchner.com/germname.htm

 

Q.  Why are the Brion sisters listed in Moselem Lutheran KB (38506) recorded as Brionin?

A.  see item 5 at http://www.kerchner.com/germname.htm

 

Q.  Why do these Brion(s) have Germanic sounding given names when the Alsace is in France?

A.