In the 2010 census record Brookhaven contained 486,040 people.
The township is home to two renowned Research centers, Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The latter founding year was recognized in 1976, when the Brookhaven Town Bicentennial Commission proposed setting the date on the seal to 1655 in line with this first deed of settlement of the Town of Brookhaven at Setauket on April 14, 1655.
Considering this founding year of 1655, Brookhaven is the fifth English township on Long Island following Southampton, Southold, Huntington, and East Hampton.
Brookhaven was founded primarily by English colonists that partook in the settlement of Southold, New York, and was likewise under the jurisdiction of the theocratic New Haven Colony in the modern state of Connecticut.
Brookhaven was transferred to the more secular Hartford-led Connecticut Colony in 1662.
Early English settlers farmed, fished, and hunted whales.
Brookhaven was largely agrarian, with each hamlet being limited to a handful of families yet containing miles of land.
During the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Brookhaven and the rest of Long Island were captured by British forces, and many residents sided with the British as loyalists to the English crown.
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The first known inhabitants were Algonquian-speaking Native Americans, of the Setauket and Unkechaug tribes.
The first English settlers arrived around 1640, and in 1655, several purchased Brookhaven's land from its tribal inhabitants.