Origins and History

Dutch, English and American History
of the
Middlebrook(s) Name



The Middlebrook(s) name is believed to have originated in the northern area of the Netherlands known as Holland. Around the 6th century our Dutch ancestors migrate to northern England and settle in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire Counties. In this area the name is considered pure Dutch until the late 1300s.

The Dutch meaning of Middlebrook is “marsh” and the English meaning is “dweller at the middle stream.” Spelling variations, from both Holland and England, have changed over the centuries and include Middle- burgh, Midlebrugh, Myddelbroughe, Mydelbrough, Midlebrough, Mydelbrok, Mydelbrocke, Middlebrock, Middlebrough, Mistlebrooke, Middlebroke, Middlebrooke, and Middleborrow. The more recent English variations are Mittlebrook, Middlebrock, Meddowbrook and Middlebrook.  The Middlebrook Family Register lists nine variants of the name found between the years 1190 and 1664.


Between 1600 and the early 1700s there are four records of Middlebrook(s) in the early American Colonies. The first is Joseph Middlebrook who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in October 1635. The second is two Middlebrook sisters, Esther Middlebrook Wigglesworth and Mary Middlebrook Reyner, who arrived in Massachusetts, Esther in 1638 and Mary in 1642. The third record is Theophilus Middlebrook, a 21 year old Cambridge, England laborer who arrived on February 2, 1733/34. He paid for his passage with four years of service to Neal MacNeal in the Maryland Colony. We suspect a fourth Middlebrook may have settled in Kent County, Maryland in the mid-late 1600s. An Isaac Middlebrook served in the Kent County Militia 1776-78. Although Isaac’s lineage is undetermined, many believe his ancestors later settled in New Kent, Hanover, Louisa and Orange Counties, Virginia in the early-mid 1700s. Our ancestors then migrated from Virginia to North Carolina, Georgia and Texas.

The earliest emigrant, Joseph Middlebrook, was one of the Concord Plantation planters. The plantation was located on the Concord River, 16 miles west of Boston. Nine years later Joseph, along with 15 other families, moved to the Connecticut Colony for better growing conditions and lower taxes. They settled in the Pequon- nock District of Fairfield under the leadership of Reverend John Jones.

From the middle 1600s and for nearly the next 100 years most of the Connecticut family remained in the Fair- field area while others settled in adjacent Greenfield Hill, Long Hill, Stratford, North Stratford, Norwalk, and Trumbull, Connecticut. However, during this period (around 1724/25) the third Joseph Middlebrook’s son, David, is reported to have moved to the Virginia – North Carolina border. The middle of this century sees many of this family staying in the same southern Connecticut area, while others are noted moving to areas in adjacent New York and Vermont and the beginning of southerly migration to various Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina counties.

The late 1700s and early 1800s see parts of what is by now the sixth and seventh family generations moving west and further south. Movement is seen into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. This family group is referred to as the northern branch, while those settling in Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi are known as the southern branch. Parts of this particular branch continued westward movement to Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, while others settled in Florida. Between 1820 and 1910, parts of the next two generations moved into Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, California and Washington, following our country’s westward expansion.

Today, the United States has the largest number of Middlebrook families followed by Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In the United States, Georgia, Texas, Florida, California, New York, Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio have the highest number of Middlebrook(s) households. This is one of our country’s oldest and greatest families, with members supporting our heritage from the early days of the Fairfield militia, through both world wars, to the current conflict in Iraq.


Editor’s note: Our thanks to author, Neal Middlebrook!