Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his October 10th column, he looks at the history of the name Brett.
Which NFL quarterback holds the record for most consecutive starts?
Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers, who started 297 regular season games between 1992 and 2010. Favre turns 52 today.
Brett is a surname indicating one’s ancestor was a Celtic-speaking Breton or Briton. In southern England, Bretts are descended from settlers from Brittany who arrived after 1066’s Norman conquest. In Scotland, Bretts had ancestors from Strathclyde, a kingdom along the Scottish-English border where Cumbrian, a language akin to Welsh, was spoken when Scots conquered it around 1030.
When the custom of giving boys surnames as first names was established, Bretts began to occasionally appear. The oldest of the five in the 1850 United States census, Brett Stovall of Patrick County, Virginia, was born in 1766.
Author Bret Harte (1836-1902) was born as Francis Brett Hart in New York; Brett was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name. He went to California in 1853, later becoming famous for short stories and poems about miners and gamblers of the California Gold Rush.