I have eleven people with the surname Brockbank in my family tree. The connection begins with the marriage of my 2x great grand aunt, Ellen Carradice, to Robert Brockbank on Christmas Eve 1864 in Kendal, Westmorland.
According to surnamedb Brockbank is a medieval name of English origin with two possible meanings.
The first suggestion is that it is a dialectal variant of ‘Brocklebank’ which itself is a locational name from a place near Wigton in Cumbria. The derivation is said to be from the Middle English ‘brock’ meaning a badger and the Northern Middle English ‘bank’, meaning bank or slope. It is apparently descriptive of a bank that was a favouite haunt of badgers.
The second suggestion is that Brockbank may be a topographical name for a dweller by the bank of a brook – ‘brock’ being a variant of brook from the Old English pre 7th Century ‘broc’ meaning a brook or water meadow.
OK – did you follow that?
The first recorded spelling of the family name is said to be that of Thomas Brokesbank dated 1379 on the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire.
A surname search of the 1911 census produces a list of 1334 people, predominantly from Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland.
Here’s a couple of links to famous ‘Brockbank’s’
Russell Brockbank – cartoonist
William Brockbank M.D. – The Scouting Doctor