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Awbrey/Aubrey Name Study

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Surnames/tags: Awbrey Aubrey
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Project Coordinator: Stuart Awbrey

This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about the Awbrey surname and the variants of that name, in particular Aubrey. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect. Please contact the project leader, add categories to your profiles, add your questions in the comments section below, add details of your name research, etc.


Name Origin

Click on this link to see the complete Research Results (under revision).

A popular belief is that the surname Aubrey/Awbrey owes it origin to Alberich, a legendary sorcerer who originated in the mythology or epic sagas of the Frankish Merovinginan Dynasty of the 5th to 8th century - Religion Wiki – Alberich.

There are recorded instances of the use of Alberic as a individual’s name as early as the 700s such as Alberic of Utrecht who died in 784 – Wikipedia – Alberic.

Some of the early examples indicate Alberic is equivalent to Aubrey.

At this time, it is not known if the name Alberic derived from the mythological figure Alberich, or the reverse.

In the Norman French language, Alberic(h) is translated to the French Aubry or Aubrey. In Normandy, at the time of the Conquest of England, the language of the law was French. Both the Norman French and French languages existed concurrently. The Latin spelling is Albericus.

After the Conquest, the Anglo-Norman dialect of Norman French served as a language of administration in England and Law French was used in the courts.

The Aubrey/Awbrey ancestor who came to England at the time of the Conquest is listed in WikiTree as Saunder de Sancto Alberico as well as in other sources.

Should the correct spelling be Alberic as Alberico is the Italian derivative?

It is possible the family name became commonly spelled as Aubry or Aubrey sometime after Saunder de Sancto Alberico arrived in England. This could explain why Sir Reginald Aubrey/Awbrey was known by that name after arriving in Wales around 1093.

Possibly, the Awbrey spelling is an anglicized version. If so, we don’t know with certainty if or when any of the earliest ancestors in Wales began using this spelling. It is possible authors of books about the family used this spelling as it may have been the preferred English spelling.

How to Join

To join the Awbrey Name Study, add your name to the members list.

... ... ... is a member of the Awbrey Name Study Project.

You can also show your project affiliation with the ONS Member Sticker:


The Research Pages section (below) has links to pages that might be of interest or helpful to you. If you find a page that would be of interest, you can add it to the list or contact the Name Study Coordinator: Stuart Awbrey for assistance. You can share ideas for research areas you would like to pursue by posting a comment to this page (which will send an e-mail copy to the managers) or posting to G2G using the "Ask Question" button (which will link the post to this page).


Please add your name and interest to the members' list (list is alphabetized by surname):

Research Pages

Here are some WikiTree pages with information that may aid your research:

Adding a Profile to the Name Study

To see profiles already included in the Awbrey Name Study, see Category: Awbrey Name Study

To include a profile in the Awbrey Name Study, add the sticker to the profile page (which also adds the category):

This profile is part of the Awbrey Name Study.

{{One Name Study|name=Awbrey}}

The sticker should be placed in the text, below == Biography == (see Help:Stickers#Location on profiles).

Note: This Name Study was begun in 2017. Things we considered (from the One Name Studies FAQ page) were which profiles should be included in the study.

We decided to include everyone with the surname Awbrey/Aubrey (and other variations), to include males, females (maiden name), and adoptees with the Awbrey/Aubrey/etc. surname. We also include those who married into the family - both the wives of an Awbrey/Aubrey/etc. (whether or not they take the name) and the men who married an Awbrey. By including in this category all Awbrey/Aubrey/etc. profiles, as well as their spouses', we hope to facilitate family research and help cousins find us.

One purpose of a One Name Study is to facilitate DNA studies. For autosomal or mitochondrial DNA studies, anyone born into the family, male and female, should be identified, but if you are looking at Y-DNA, you would want to identify Awbrey/Aubrey/etc. males. At a future time an additional category may be added that would include only Awbrey/Aubrey/etc. males in order to facilitate Y-DNA studies.

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Comments: 17

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The letter W didn't really exist in the Old English alphabet, they used a (Ƿ) rune called a wynn for w sound and a (u) or (v) for an U sound. The Latin alphabet didn't contain a written U or W either. They used a u as a lower case V in middle age Latin print.

I would assume that what dialect the speaker used to sound out the name, it could have been written as ALB, Aub, AVB, or Aƿb. It wouldn't be until the protogothic type (1300's) would (w) appear.

Looking at Awbrey-247, I would assume that the u that appears in his name is a lowercase V. There is also a notable amount of French in this document as well.

posted by Cole Aubrey
edited by Cole Aubrey
Assuming the surname is a translation of Alberic(h), some research states the French translation is Aubry or Aubrey.

I don't know who/when began spelling it using "w". Seems like there are some old documents which clearly show the signature using "w."

Some material written later using w" may have been the writer's preference.

posted by Stuart Awbrey
I believe that after the 1300's the W was definitely used in place of an V or L. I'm starting to believe Awbrey was a topographic name of a place in Normandy, named after Alberic or Aubin.
posted by Cole Aubrey
Hi! I'm working on my wife's family history, and her 2x great grandfather was Thomas C. Aubrey. I know a lot about his life, and he was a fascinating man. However, he was born in (or about) 1859 and I have been unable to find anything about him before he arrived in Heppner, Morrow County, Oregon in 1887-1888 to teach school. When he ran for public office he told the local paper that he was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1860, moved to Indiana with his parents when he was 2 1/2, completed high school there and started teaching, then went to California State Normal School for 2 1/2 years beginning 1880, and taught for a while in California before going to Heppner. But none of this can be confirmed. I've been unable to find him in the 1860, 1870 or 1880 censuses in any of those states, and there's no record of him graduating from the California State Normal School or teaching in California. To add to the confusion, let's just say he wasn't the most honest person on the face of the earth. He stole money from his wife's family in Oregon and tried to hide in Washington using an assumed name. He cooked up a scheme to fake his own death and collect on the insurance money, and had to leave Washington when the Attorney General went after him. He went back to Oregon briefly, and then to Louisiana where he lived in the Shreveport area until at least 1916. He was involved in a bank that folded (and then burned down), and in an ice plant in Arkansas (which also burned down). He went to Panama to work on the canal, but got yellow fever and returned to Louisiana. He tried to start a fig company, got licensed as a minister, moved to Texas briefly where he married his second wife (without divorcing his first wife). Then he disappeared mysteriously in Mexico, probably in the early 1920s. Like I said, a fascinating guy. But I obviously can't believe anything he told the local paper. For all I know, Aubrey wasn't even his real name. In Washington state he went by T.J. Foley (who also doesn't show up in the census records, etc. or in the list of graduates from the Normal School).

His first wife was Anna (or Annie) Beymer. She was from a prominent ranching family in Morrow County, Oregon. Her family is fairly well documented. But I've also been unable to find any confirmation of when or where she died. She was still in Louisiana in 1920, but disappears after that. So I'm at a real loss here. I know so much, and yet can't confirm the most basic information. If anyone knows anything about this guy or where or when his first wife died, please contact me. Thanks!

posted by Mark Wolfe
I'm familiar with a few early generations of the Virginia Awbreys. Have you looked in Jon Awbrey's Aubrey/Awbrey - Dominion and Decline for his family?
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Thanks. They might be in there, but there's no obvious connection that I can find.

I was able to determine that his first wife, Annie Aubrey, died in May, 1921 in Denver, Colorado. One step at a time.

posted by Mark Wolfe
I would maybe start with a Aubrey family from PA of William C Aubrey.
posted by Cole Aubrey
Mark, I am sending you another Private Message on this subject.
posted by Stuart Awbrey
Sanders de Sancto Alberico would be just anglicized as Alexander of St. Alberic or Aubry. Should we investigate a Norman estate called St. Alberic or Aubrey. I found a street called Rue d'Albray in Évrecy, France ( I know thats a stretch but it would appear that name could exist)

I would also like to find those Aubrys in Normandy to see if we share that common ancestor. I could see by my and Stuarts DNA results that a Bowen was very close in relation maybe even 1000 years ago.

And has anyone looked at Tancred of Hauteville, he has a son named Aubrey and would have been around Saunders age. He was the product of a second marriage and a latter son at that. He would have had a title but no wealth. Maybe a reason to join the conquest of Wales

posted by Cole Aubrey
edited by Cole Aubrey
The DNA situation is frustrating for me as I want to get more involved in the studies but simply do not have the time now. I am preparing a document for you containing the research done on a project, for our DNA group, on FamilyTreeDNA. It will sent via email.
posted by Stuart Awbrey
I have seen that the haplogroup that we have posted still hasn't been updated in any Y-DNA databases as of yet. But one clue of the Aubrey migration still is very mysterious and that is that our haplogroup is very odd/rare for Norman and/or Welsh. It is very Balkan according to the research that has been publish. Which makes me speculate whether the Aubrey Ancestors were military/POW's/slaves or something else. What brought them across the continent during the middle ages?

I feel like it will a long time for the DNA to reveal any great secrets.

posted by Cole Aubrey
I also have been looking at the Saint-Aubin as well, there are many in Normandy now and there were several at the time on Saunders
posted by Cole Aubrey
update - added

not sure if the following would be considered Awbrey/Aubrey Name Study "Research Pages" (if so, let me know & I'll add them), but American Awbrey descendants might find them of interest:

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
edited by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Hi, found this by accident today. Could this Mathews Flounoy Ward be one of ours?


posted by Rikki Aubrey
Hi, still trying to post my DNA results. Stuart graciously tried to help but I'm still stuck. Any advice is appreciated.


posted by Rikki Aubrey
Cole, a lengthy reply was sent as a private email.
posted by Stuart Awbrey
I’m pretty sure that Marcellous F Awbrey (1844 - 1905) is my Great Great Grandfather, Marcellus Flournoy Awbrey (1844 - 1905). There are 2 pages for him and I think the proper spelling of his name is the latter.

Marcellus Flournoy Awbrey is father to M.W. “Mort” Awbrey AKA Marcus West Awbrey. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/140943824/M.-W.-Awbrey) Mort is father to George R. Awbrey AKA Bob Awbrey AKA Robby G. Awbrey (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/140943867/george-r.-awbrey#) Bob Awbrey is father to Jack Wesley Aubrey (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41617857/jack-wesley-Aubrey) The U is correct. Said to have been changed while enlisting in the Air Force. Why is not known. Jack is my father. He has two sons and a daughter(me) and a granddaughter by the oldest son. We are all Aubreys. The oldest son and daughter have the same mother. The youngest son has a different mother. If you have any other info, I would like to hear about it and I can tell you what I know. Rikki Aubrey

posted by Rikki Aubrey