This is an English post medieval locational surname, and one specifically of Devonish origins. It is from the hamlet of Bradbeer in East Devon, and like most locational surnames, was given originally either to the owner and descendants of the lord of the manor of Bradbeer, or more likely to former villagers who, for whatever reason left and moved elsewhere. 'Elsewhere' could be the next village, the county town of Exeter, or even London as shown in the recordings below. Eitherway the easiest means of identifying a 'stranger' was to call him (or sometimes her), by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best erratic, and local accents very 'thick', often lead to the development of variants spellings, which in this case seem to have been Bradbeare Bradbeere, and Bradbear, although these forms may now be extinct. The name translates as 'the broad grove of trees' from the pre 7th century 'brad bearu', and early examples of the surname recording include Elizabeth Bradbeare, christened at Yarcombe, East Devon, on November 17th 1588, Thomas Bradbere, buried at St James church, Clerkenwell, in 1607, and June Bradbeer, who married John Faulkner at St George's chapel, Mayfair, in 1729, both being round in the London Registers. The earliest recording of the surname may be that of Margerie Bradbeare of Plymtree, East devon, who was christened there on June 27th 1570. This was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603.
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