This is the family history of Arthur G Broadhurst, who developed this website to tell the story of his ancestors and descendants insofar as they can be determined. There are numerous Broadhurst families spread throughout the English-speaking world, the interconnections of which are presumed to have been lost in the mists of time but likely had their roots in Saxon England and more particularly in Leicestershire and surrounding areas in the Midlands.
Broadhurst is an old English name. We have traced its origins back to its earliest appearances in England in the medieval period. We begin the story of Broadhurst of Ashby de la Zouch with a look into the origins of the name. The surname Broadhurst appears in several different places in England. We do not know if all those with the surname Broadhurst originated in one place or are descended from a single “Adam” Broadhurst, but we doubt it. It is both reasonable and likely to suppose thatthe name arose independently in different places, although for those inclinedto pursue this issue it is now possible through DNA analysis to settle thatquestion definitively.
Our branch of theBroadhurst family had its origins in or around the medieval market town ofAshby de la Zouch in the county (or shire) of Leicestershire, England in themiddle of the 17th Century.
While we know the names and relationships of our Broadhurst ancestors back to the middle of the 1600s, the earliest ancestor in our line about whom we have more than just names, dates and places is my great-grandfather Colour Sergeant James Broadhurst , a British soldier who enlisted in the 17th Leicestershire Regiment of Foot [e.g., infantry], left England for a duty post with the Regiment in Canada, married while he was on station at Camp Hill in Nova Scotia, and eventually left His Majesty’s military service to begin life as an immigrant settler in Canada. Anything like a real history of the family begins with him. We have information about his military service, his later occupations and residences, and his children (whose relationship to me is that of “grandfather” and "great" aunts and uncles).
We know a bit about James' father John Broadhurst and John's extended family. We have some names, places, relationships and key dates of ancestors a few generations earlier than James but as we go back much further in time our facts are less certain and our data is more speculative than proven--and in any event is not really history so much as a list of ancestral names and dates.
The meaning of the Broadhurst surnameis “dweller in the broad woods.” Hurst comes from Old English, the Anglo-Saxon word hyrst , which carries the connotation of “woodland” or “heavily-wooded land.”