Recorded in over fifty different spellings including Brand, Brands, Brandt, Braund, Brando, Brann, Braun, Bront, and many others, it is regarded as German, English and French. It usually derives from the male given name Brando, a short form of popular compound personal names such as Hildebrand. It originates from the pre 6th Anglo-Saxon word "brinnan", meaning a flash, as in a flash of lightning. The name can also be topographical and relate to a person who lived by a "brant". This described an area of agricultural land, one which was cleared by fire, a common practice in ancient times.In England this appears in many village names including Brandeston in the county of Suffolk, and Branston in the county of Leicestershire. These places were recorded prior to the year 1066, the year of the Norman Invasion, and suggest that Brant and Brand as first names were in common useage in England about the year 450 a.d.. Early examples of the surname recordings include Ralph Brand, in the pipe rolls of the city of London in1184, and in Germany that of Otho de Brande from Neuburg, in the year 1271.The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is probably that of William Brant, and dated 1086, in the famous Domesday Book for the county of Norfolk, England. This was during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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