also known as "the Channel", is the body of water that separates southern England from northern France and links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
It's the busiest shipping area in the world.
Memorialized in Churches
William Bracy armed as in the first pane with a collar of gold about his neck prayeing, as his armes in his coate armour in every place doe manifest; and over all this is first Braci’s armes, and for his creast on a wreath azure a man’s heart of a tawney coller, with mantling doubling and helmett;
The name has been borne by men in every walk of life who have risen above the mediocre. By men who have achieved success in the professions and in the commercial, industrial, and political life of the Nation.
(above; listing from The Dictionary of Biographical Reference)
Mont St-Michel 35 minutes West of Brecey, France
Caen 60 minutes Northeast of Brecey, France
Arromanches 75 minutes Northeast of Brecey, France
Rouen 80 minutes South of Brecey, France
Norman, member of those Vikings, or Norsemen, who settled in northern France (or the Frankish kingdom), together with their descendants. The Normans founded the duchy of Normandy and sent out expeditions of conquest and colonization to southern Italy and Sicily and to England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
The Normans (from Nortmanni: “Northmen”) were originally pagan barbarian pirates from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland who began to make destructive plundering raids on European coastal settlements in the 8th century.
From then on until the mid-11th century, the history of the Normans in Normandy was marked by a line of ruthless and forceful rulers calling themselves counts, or dukes, of Normandy and struggling to establish political hegemony over the indigenous Frankish population of the region.
An unequaled capacity for rapid movement across land and sea, the use of brutal violence, a precocious sense of the use and value of money—these are among the traits traditionally assigned to the Normans.
Many of the early Norman rulers of Normandy, England, and Sicily were among the most powerful and successful secular potentates of their age in western Europe in their ability to create political institutions that were both stable and enduring.
Forced to come to terms with the Carolingian and Capetian dynasties and to adopt French as their language and Christianity as their religion, they quickly became missionaries and proselytizers of the civilization that they had attacked and that had ultimately absorbed them. They quickly grasped the principles of Carolingian feudalism, and Normandy became in the 11th century one of the most highly feudalized states in western Europe.
Some European History of the Braceys
from Brecy near Caen-
Robert de Breze and M. de Brece were among the one hundred and nineteen Norman gentlemen who defended Mont St. Michel, against the English in 1423; and three noble families of the name existed in the Duchy. It dates from the Conquest in England. William, son of Radulphus de Braceio (who occurs in a Norman charter of 1080), held Wistaton in Cheshire of the Barony of Nantwich; and the first mesne-lords of the manor, who bore its name, and continued till the time of Henry VI., are conjectured to have been the elder male branch of his descendants.
The younger, that continued to be called De Bracy, "was connected with the parish soon after the Conquest, and had a share in the manor which they alienated before 16 Hen. VI."—Ormerod. William Malbank, Baron of Nantwich, gives notice, in one of his charters, that he has received from "Robert de Bracy, his black nephew," the homage and service of three knight's fees.
Their original seat at Wistaston was Wildecattesheth, which became Wilcott's or Wilcock's Heath. From this parent stock there were numerous offsets; for in Cheshire "the Bressie's hath been a great name of gentlemen," writes Sir Peter Leycester; "but the connection of the branches is not sufficiently identified to form a pedigree."—
Ormerod. Robert de Bracy was Sheriff of the county 31 and 33 Ed. I. Wilcock's Heath was still in their possession in 1666, though, during the reign of Henry IV., Thomas de Bracy had removed to Tiverton, on his marriage with the heiress of its manorial lords, the Hulgreves. "The family continued settled here in the male line to the middle of the last century. The daughter of the last Bressy married a Mr. Garnett, and was resident in the old family mansion, in 1804.
From this last line the Bressies of Chester descended."—Ormerod. The Bressies of Bulkeley, derived from a common ancestor, survived in a lower grade of the social scale. Hamo de Bresci acquired Roger de Bulkeley's estate through the heiress of the Hadleighs about 1409. "The Bressies continued resident there in great respectability for two centuries and a half; and their lineal representative, Richard Bressy, entered his pedigree in Sir William Dugdale's Visitation of 1663.
The family have retained their property" (of 300 or 400 acres) "but have gradually sunk to the rank of yeomanry, and are now represented by Mr. Richard Bressie of Cotton Abbott's, grandson of the above-named Richard, and proprietor of the Bressie estate in this township."—Ibid. To this "race of substantial yeomen" belonged the eminent engineer and contractor Thomas Brassey, whose eldest son received a baronetcy a few years ago, and was further created Lord Brassey of Bulkeley in 1886. "His father had lands of his own at Buerton, and rented from the Marquess of Westminster a large farm adjacent to it."—Sir Arthur Helps.
He bequeathed to his children the largest fortune probably ever made by individual enterprise; and what, in these days of reckless speculation, is the rarer legacy of a stainless name.
Brace's Leigh, in Worcestershire, bears the name of another branch of the family, that can, with every probability, be traced back to the Domesday owner. "Warmedon and Eston were then held of the Bishop's manor of Norwiche by Urso d'Abitot and by Robert of him" (here follows a description of the property): "to which agreeth the book of tenures, temp. Ed. I., where Robert de Bracy held in Warmedon of William de Beauchamp" (who inherited Urso's domains). "Robert de Bracy 20 Ed. III., held in Warmedon the same land that Robert his ancestor had.
"Soon after this, the Bracys went to Madresfield. 7 Henry VI. William Bracy was an esquire returned into the Exchequer to attend the King's person with horse and arms into France; and the same year Thomas Lygon was certified in the Exchequer to hold the lands in Warmedon which Robert Bracy sometime had; for 7 Henry V. Joan Bracy, the heiress of that family, married Thomas Lygon."—Nash's Worcestershire.
Madresfield is now the seat of Earl Beauchamp, their representative in the female line. Nothing is said of William Bracy's posterity; most probably he had none. His arms, Gules, a fesse and two mullets in chief Or, remain in one of the windows of Malvern Church; and are entirely different from those of the Cheshire Bracys, who bore Quarterly indented per fesse Sable and Argent, in the first quarter a mallard of the second.
"'Aldulfus de Braci, filius Bwerne, nepos Osberti Martell,' as he is styled in the Registers of Croxton Abbey, Leicestershire, and Melton Priory, Yorkshire, to both of which he was a benefactor, occurs in Domesday only as 'the foreigner' holding Croxton. He gave to the canons of Sempringham some large possessions in Normandy."—Nichol's Leicestershire. Three Ardulfs or Audulfs de Bracy, presumably his descendants, appear in Shropshire during the two ensuing centuries.
The first Audulf, in the time of Henry II., received from his kinsman, William Martel, the manor of Meole, since Melesbracy or Meole-Brace; and held Eaton in Bedfordshire by gift of King John. His daughter Mascelina was the first wife of the first William de Cantilupe. Audulf II. was a benefactor of Dunstaple Priory, as his father had been before him; and had a long lawsuit with Roger de Mortimer, who unsuccessfully contested Meole.
"The Fitz Warine Chronicle calls Audulf de Bracy his cousin, and implies that he shared his exile in Little Brittany in 1201."—Eyton. Audulf III. occurs 1267-1280, and had apparently succeeded John de Bracy of Meole, who was dead before 1262. Robert, perhaps his son, living 1272-1306, married Maud, one of the daughters and co-heirs of William de Warren or de Blancminster (Albo Monasterio), murdered about 1260. He and his wife granted their share (a third part) of Whitchurch-Warren to Fulco le Estraunge and his wife Alianor (perhaps their daughter); "the latter to restore the premises to the Grantors for their lives, to hold by payment of a rose-rent, and by render of all capital services."—Ibid,
The last mentioned of the name is Ralph Bracy, Vicar of Meole in 1333.
In the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1272 I find entered Richard and Elias de Bracy, both of Oxfordshire; and William de Bracy, with his daughters Avicia and Joanna, of Kent.
In the sixteenth century around 1525, a man by the name of Edmund Brassey had two children in the Buckley house by the name of Thomas and Edmund Brassey. They moved from Normandy, France to London, England. Like all other families, they kept a particular name in the family. Such names as Edmund, William, Thomas, and John shall be prevalent in this family history. They became wealthy linen merchants will living in England. They continue to raise families who began to spread all over Great Britain. Some moved a place called Cheshire named after the France town of the same but putting an "L" in the name for distinction.
In the Back church of the Register Dionis was born Edmond Braccye (page 80), Thomas Brassye (page 80), Izack Brassye (page 83) and the marriage of Thomas Brasseye to Anne Ober between 1553-54 (London Marriage License).
Edmund Brassey was survived by a son, Edmund Bressey, who in approved manner became the head of the New County Family. They became the families of Maulden and Wooten in Bedford shire, England. The other two children of Edmund Brassey moved to the Americas during the Puritan movement. John and Thomas (born in 1550 in Franconcomptrell, England) changed their name to fit the new life in the Americas. Thomas changed his name to Brace and John changed his name to Bracey. The history of the Bracey family began to show up in the records of many cities and town in the northeastern section of America. They were mostly in New York and Connecticut.
Thomas Bracey was born in 1550. He married "Goodwife" Bracey and they had seven children (all children were born in Iron Acton, Gloucestershire, England):
1. Richard Bracey was born in 1580.
2. William Bracey was born in 1582.
3. Joan Bracey (twin) was born in 1585. She married Nicholas Sutherwood.
4. John Bracey (twin) was born in 1585.
5. Richard Bracey (triplet) was born in 1590.
6. Margery Bracey was born in 1590.
7. Isabella was born in 1590.
Richard Bracey (triplet) was born in Iron Acton, England in 1590. He married Joan Bracey and had two children:
1. Thomas Bracey was born in 1621 in Iron Acton, England.
2. Edward Bracey was born in Iron Acton, England.
Thomas Bracey married Mary Neal. They had six children (all children were born in Iron Acton, England):
1. Joan was born in 1643.
2. Richard Bracey was born in 1645.
3. Sarah Bracey was born in 1647.
4. Edward Bracey was born in 1650.
5. Thomas Bracey was born in 1652.
6. William Bracey was born in 1654.
Thomas Bracey had a son:
1. Christopher Brace was born in 1707 in St. Mary, Watford, England.
Christopher Brace lived in Watford, England, all of his life. On August 22, 1746, Solomon Brace was born. Solomon Brace married Elizabeth Smith in December 1771. They migrated to the Americas and settle in West Hartford, Connecticut.