Recorded as Bradnam and Bradnum, and confused and transposed with Bradman and Braidman, these are ancient medieval English surnames of two quite separate, but in some ways overlapping origins. Bradnam and Bradnum are localised speech for the village of Bradenham in the county of Norfolk. The earliest recording is that of Suift de Bradenham in the Pipe Rolls of the county in the year 1177. We then have a major break in recordings until that of Francis Bradnam of Stowmarket, Suffolk in 1612. In 1628 he is again recorded, but this time as Francis Bradnum showing the traditional 17th century failure to adhere to a constant spelling. Bradenham is from the Olde English 'brad-ham' meaning a broad place. Curiously the surname as Bradman and Braidman means much the same thing. It again originates from 'brad' meaning broad, plus 'man', to give the meaning of 'The (fore)man of Brad,' with the latter being originally used a s personal name. The first surviving recording is believed to be that of William Bradman also of Norfolk. He appears in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of that county in the year 1250. It is understood that the family of the famous Australian Sir Donald Bradman, probably the worlds finest cricketer, originally came from that area.
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