Introduction

The Braund Society was founded in 1982 by the late Cyril John Braund, to promote the study of the history, biography and genealogy of the Braund family and to encourage friendship and fellowship between its members. Membership is open to all those with the name Braund, those who married Braunds and their descendants. Other interested parties may become associate members.

The surname Braund is firmly rooted in the West Country of England; North Devon in particular. It is a commonly expressed myth that the Braunds, noted for their dark hair, broad heads and brown eyes, owed their existence to local women who married survivors of a Spanish Armada ship, wrecked on the North Devon coast over four hundred years ago. Documentary evidence shows that Braunds lived in Devon villages long before the sixteenth century. We believe that all Braunds share a common ancestry but the records required to prove this have not survived. Our members therefore represent several branches of the Braund family. A DNA project is helping us to understand how these branches may be linked. The surname has close associations with the village of Bucks Mills where, at one time, almost every resident was related to the Braunds. Their past ferocity in scaring away prospective newcomers and the natural isolation of the place, contributed to the formation of a tight-knit family colony. Over the last two centuries the family has spread to every corner of the world. Illustrious members of the Braund family include: Captain James Braund ‘King ‘ of Bucks Mills, Mary Braund, a first fleet convict who escaped in an open boat to Timor Island; Leonard Charles Braund the England cricketer; George Braund the conjuror; John Braund who designed furniture for royal residences; John Braund the Hatherleigh clockmaker; William and Thomas Braund who fought at Trafalgar; Lewis and Owen Braund who perished with the Titanic and William Braund the East India Company merchant. We are however just as proud of our ‘ordinary’ Braund ancestors, many of whom were agricultural labourers or fishermen.

The Society, a non-profit making organisation, publishes booklets, produces a quarterly journal and holds meetings in North Devon at least twice a year. We have amassed a great deal of information concerning the family, the main branch of which can be traced back to the middle of the fifteenth century.

The Braund Society is a member of The Guild of One Name Studies and has close links with Devon Family History Society.