Frequently Asked Questions

Mike Brogden is always pleased to hear from contacts who are interested in Brogden genealogy. Some of the most frequently asked questions are:

The surname comes from Yorkshire in England; it is nothing to do with badgers. Brog means brook; den means valley. See the Home Page on this website.

Brogden is the original spelling but a few in the UK use don. In the USA, however, there are about as many dons as dens. Variations include Brogdin and Brogdan. See the Home Page on this website.

The system is much misunderstood. Arms were awarded to individuals, not families so there is no such thing as a family coat of arms, at least as far as the Royal College of Arms sees it. In some cases Arms could be worn by offspring but there is no generic Brogden coat of arms and those firms offering to sell such things are being naughty. It is not known whether any individual Brogdens have been awarded Arms. One likely candidate is the Tudor Member of Parliament, Edward Brogden, but it would cost too much to find out!

I am very happy to check through my records to see if I can help. For example, I have the UK Brogden (but not the variant spellings) births, marriages and deaths records from 1837 to the 1980s and a large number of lists from parish records. (These records were collected by John Brogden of York.) Also, I've got the Brogdens in the 1901 census, but not the variants. I've been able to help a few Brogden researchers. If sending me a request for help, please include dates and places of birth.

Note: since Mike Brogden passed away at the end of August 2020, his eldest son Iain now has all of his family history research and paperwork. Please email.

  • Talk with living relatives: get dates and places of birth, full names, names of parents and relatives etc - as much detail as possible. But bear in mind that family memories are often faulty and need checking against the records.
  • For UK relatives born, married or dying from 1837 onwards, you can look them up at You'll need at least an approximate year and the location. The records show the place of the registration office which is not necessarily the actual place of birth, marriage or death. Order copies of birth, marriage and death certificates for these relatives because the certificates will contain further information to aid your searches. There is a charge for the certificates.
  • The information on the certificates will help you work back through each generation.
  • Other good sources of information are the census returns which are available for every ten years from 1841 to 1901 and will be in local libraries. The 1881 census can also be found at The 1901 census can be visited at with charges for searches and downloads.
  • For pre-1837 information, you will need to look at local church records in libraries and record offices. Quite often, one record gives enough information to lead back to another, if the records survive, of course.
  • The Church of the Latterday Saints is building up a genealogical index (the IGI) which is often helpful but contains transcription errors and doesn't include all the records:
  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at is good for information about Brogdens in the armed services who died in wartime.

Please let Mike Brogden know how you are getting on. There's always the chance of making connections with other researchers.