To Cheryl: I, too, am from BRUNS Abstamm. Yes, it is the most common name in Niedersachsen and one of the most ancient.
The name is believed to have originated with Wittekind and Bruno - Saxon heroes of the 8th Cent who fought against Charlemagne - both of whom had sons and grandsons named Bruno. BRUNS is a contraction of Brunos-son. There was (is) a fortress from that period near the village of Heemsen called Brunsburg - nothing more than double earthworks and a palisade. From there they apparently spread out - one branch west of the Weser into the area of Kreis Hoya - Hoya, Vilsen, Asendorf and Bucken - the other to the east to the area of Celle and Braunschweig. Yes, Braunschweig was originally called Bruns-wik, wik being a Viking word for market or trading place. The western branch remained largely peasants and small village artisans. The eastern branch - some of them - became Grafs (Counts) - no dukes that I know of- in that area. There is also a similar fortress called the Brunonenburg in Alten Celle from the 10th cent. And one of them actually became Holy Roman Emperor for a ti
me. I would say it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to trace your ancestry to one of these.
As far as the 'von' is concerned, I have never come across a Von Bruns in all my extensive research. I agree with whoever said it probably indicated the place they came from rather than nobility. Although there are several places with similar names, I believe it more likely that it merely indicated the farm or piece of land they belonged to. You will also find it as 'zu Bruns'. I have a couple of those in my early line, which indicated who they belonged to or where before the serfs were freed.
I hope this gives you a little glimmer of the truth you are seeking. Family stories often grow with the telling. I'm sorry I can't help you beyond that as my Bruns were all Lutheran, not Catholic. Jane
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