This interesting surname, with variant spellings Brackston, Bracstone, Brakeson, Bragston, Braxton, Brogston, etc., is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and "dispersal" of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place is believed to have been "Brackstone" or "Braxton", so called from the genitive cause of the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Bracc" plus "tun" an enclosure or settlement. Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; on September 13th 1562, Luce Bracstone married Johnes Leynes, at St. Andrews, Enfield; the marriage of Alyce Brackston and Sampson Cooke took place on May 20th 1583, at St. Giles Cripplegate; and Thomas, son of William Brackstone, was christened at St. Gregory by St. Paul, on September 2nd 1629. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brakeson, who married Margarett Merywether, which was dated July 1st 1550, at St. Andrew's, Enfield, London, during the reign of King Edward V1, "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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