Hello fellow Brokaw Researchers, As you are all aware there has been a lot of discussion over the years as to the origin of the Brokaw name.Several researchers and noted genealogist have offered their opinions on exactly where in the world we came from.Until recently it was generally thought that our original ancestor Bourgon Broucard was born in (Bungary) near LaRochelle, France which is located on the Western seacoast of France.LaRochelle is well known and well documented, however no one has ever been able to identify Bungary or that it ever existed.There were several theories on that issue but that is another story.Anyway, within the last two years we have found records from the French Congregation at Mannhiem, Germany that list both marriages in 1663 and again in 1666 of our ancestor Bourgon as he migrated through that area on his way to the Netherlands.These records indicate that he, as well as his father were from the "Low Country".The "Low Country" has been identified as in the area of Belgium or Flanders and mentions the town or village of Moucron. Cousin Russ Brokaw has done some extensive research in this areawith the assistance of his "French Connection"and has posted several messages on this board concerning his therories on the topic. Additionally he and I posted a collaborative effort also (see post #169).I recently befriended a gentelmen named Mr. Patrick Lernout who lives near the City of Mouscron, Belgium.I asked him if he would do a little investigating on the Broucard name and the following is his response: Mouscron is a small city (I think about 40.000 habitants) in the South West of Belgium and on the border with France. It has always been cause for dispute between Flemish and French spoken part in Belgium. Now it belongs to the French community ofBelgium although its territory is completely surrounded by Flemish speaking cities. It was a poor region until 15 years ago. Now many new industries are building there with support of the European community, for improving the situation of poor regions (I hope I can explain this all that you understand it, there are many words I would like to use, but I don’t know how to say them in English.) They even have a website, but only in French: www.mouscron.be . There is also an e-mail under “contact” at the right upper side. (they have a soccer team in the 1st Belgian division). Broucard: is not a French name bur is originally a Flemish name who was transformed later into a French version. It is a current name here. The original name is “Broeckaert” or “Brouckaert”. In attachment I send you a list of names of people living in Mouscron (or Moeskroen in Flemish) with this name. What does the name mean ? You certainly heard of our capital Brussels (Bruxelles in French). The original name (in the middle ages) of it was “Broucksella”what means “Place at the swamp”. “Brouck” means swamp, but that word is not used any more. So Brouckaert means “person living at the swamp”. As you say in your letter: it were the “Lowlands”. Many regions were constantly submerged since a big part of Flanders is under the sea level only protected from the sea by embankments.
So, hoping I have been a little help to you. Sincerely, Patrick Lernout
I am posting this information only as an alternative to the already published information on the European Origins of the Brokaw Family.I would welcome input from anyone out there who would either agree or disagree.At this point in time I am more inclined to believe that the Brokaw family is from Belgium or Flanders rather than France.If not I would submit that we are at least from the North Eastern Part of France vice the Western seacoast.
Dennis L. Brokaw, Sr.firstname.lastname@example.orgBrokaw Family Historian