Broyhill Family History

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    Mary Cottill, Shropshire County Archivist wrote that the court rolls for the Broughall manor in England date from the early 14th century. This would make them contemporary to Dr. Mac-
Lysaght's references to Wm. Brochal in 1300, Robt. Brohal in 1312, and Philip Broghale in 1356 in Ireland. Dr. MacLysaght's comment, "the absence of any of these variants from works on English surnames makes it improbable that it [the Broughall name] is of English Origin," suggests that he had no knowledge of the English family of the same name. Parish records document the Broughall/Broughill family's existence in England and most certainly if Dr. MacLysaght were alive today, he would have to reevaluate his conclusion in light of this new evidence. Obviously there were two very ancient Broughall families - one in England and one in Ireland.

Areas where Broughall Families lived in England and Ireland.
Note their close proximity to one another

   The two ancient Broughall families were only separated by a few miles of the Irish Sea and both had relatively easy access to a major port - Liverpool in England and Dublin in Ireland. Surely the two families had a common origin. What was that origin?
     English historians and genealogists maintain that brough is an Anglo-Saxon word. The Angles and Saxons never invaded Ireland, so the name must have first appeared in England.
     The Anglo-Saxon occupation of Britain was completed by 600AD, so the fortified earthworks just east of present day Whitchurch in Shropshire England were then known as a broughall. Correspondence and research have yielded no information as to the exact nature and location of these earthworks. Although the word brough generally referred to Roman works, England is covered with earthworks. Many were constructed by Beaker folk and others were later excavated by Celts. It is quite possible that the broughall in Shropshire predated the Roman invasions by many, many centuries.
     No evidence has so far been found that even suggests that these earthworks still exist. Were all traces of them erased by centuries of erosion or did they disappear in modern times? Marjorie Broughall [See page 8] wrote that she and her brother visited the village of Broughall in 1946 and found that during World War II an airfield had been constructed nearby. Did the grading of airstrips result in the destruction of the ancient earthworks. Only one thing seems certain: the earthworks were the origin of the Broughall name later carried by both the village and the family.
     Surnames came into being around the 10th century and a family living at or near these earthworks adopted Broughall as its surname. Quite possibly the actual earthworks provided the basis for the surname as the village of Broughall may have been founded at a later date.
     Who were the ancient inhabitants of Broughall? Over the past two decades anthropologists have come to realize that the history of Britain has not been one of successive cultures replacing one another, but rather one of successive cultures absorbing one another. Richard Leaky in his book, The Making of Mankind, suggested that the Neanderthal Man did not actually become extinct, but was more than likely absorbed into the society of the more advanced Homo erectus.
     Ancient inhabitants of Broughall carried a diverse genetic mix. Their homes were so close to the Welsh border that they probably had a great deal of Celtic blood, but they probably carried traces of the earlier Windmill Hill people and Beaker folk and perhaps even Leakey's Neanderthal Man. Soldiers are soldiers and centuries of Roman occupation no doubt resulted in the ravishing of many a Celtic girl and resulting offspring. The Angles and Saxon made their genetic contribution as did the Normans.
     Many years ago I realized that I had a rather odd color mix. My hair was sandy-brown, my
eyebrows were blond (almost white), and my beard was red. I jokingly asked my mother, "Is there something you haven't told me?" There could be many origins for the hair color, but the blond eyebrows may have come from Celt ancestors and the red beard from Anglo-Saxon ones. It is an interesting theory, and certainly could have been true in the 10th century, but not today as over the centuries many, many wives have all made their own genetic contributions. 
    It seems highly likely that during the 11th century, one (or more) members of this ancient Broughall family joined William the Conqueror in his invasion of Ireland. Like many other soldiers, he re-mained, "becoming more Irish than the Irish themselves," and he was the progenitor of the ancient Irish Broughall family. This theory is supported by the fact that most of the families in the Wicklow-Carlow county area descend from William's followers. Dr. MacLysaght maintained that the name was a toponymic taken from Broughal, a townland and electoral district in Offaly, not far from County Kildare, but added that if he found an instance of it appearing as de Broughal, he would be satisfied of that. Quite possibly the Broughal in Offaly took its name from a descendant of that ancient soldier.
     There was a third Broughall family. A quick review of the wills reveals that all of the 18th century Broughalls living in Dublin were related. The Boyle Coat-of-Arms appears on the 1710 County Dublin Will of Thomas Braughill, suggesting that some time after Roger Boyle acquired the title Baron Broghill in 1627, one (or more) of his descendants adopted the Broughill title as his surname. The Parish Records of St. Mary's Abbot, Kensington, London, show that Roger Broghill or Mary Boyle christened a son named Charles Broghill in 1674. This interchangeable use of the two surnames seems to support this theory. Thus the Broughalls of 18th century Dublin descend from the Boyle family, not the Broughalls of ancient Britain.
     How does Rev. Hughes' theory as to the Broughalls of England descending from the Welch Prince Brochwyll fit into all this? A quick chronology provides the answer. The Welch Prince fought his battle in 1403, some seven centuries after the Anglo-Saxon invasion and Broughall receiving its name. The Celtic (Gallic) language is still very much alive in Wales and more likely than not, Brochwyll is a Welch/Celt variation of Broughall. Rather than the village being named after the prince, the prince adopted the name of the village as his surname, as did others before him..
     The Broyhills of the United States descend from the Broughalls who remained in ancient Britain, rather than those of ancient Ireland. Radulphi or Radi Broughall christened two sons at Newcastle-Upon-Lyme in the 1560's, and he was apparently the father of two other boys, but there is no record of their christenings. An extensive review of all surviving parish records suggests that all Broughalls in 17th century England descend from Radulphi's four sons. They would most certainly include the Broughalls who came to Virginia in the early 18th century