This is a rare surname which probably deserves to be better known than it is. 'Brack' is of Old French pre 10th century origins and probably arrived in England with William the Conqueror in 1066. It is occupational and describes the trainer of hunting dogs, a very important function in medieval times, and one which conferred considerable status upon the holder of the position. As such the surname is probably a metonymic, in that the person is named literally after his work, the derivation being from the words 'brache or brachet' meaning a hunting dog, and specifically one that was taught to hunt only be scent. However there has to be a word of warning in that the name is very close to the English 'Brach' and there maybe an overlap. 'Brach' is a locational surname for one who lived near a piece of land cleared for agriculture, and deriving from the Olde English pre 7th century 'braec'. Early examples of 'Brack' include William Brak in the 1327 Hundred Rolls of Sussex and Thomas Brakke in the 1484 Friary Rolls of Yorkshire. The first recording as shown below suggests that the forename of 'Relicta' may describe a widow, and therefore the former wife of 'le Brak'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Relicta le Brak, which was dated 1296, the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as 'The hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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