Recorded as Bradwell, Broadwell, Brodwell and others, this is an English surname. It is locational and derives from any of the places called Broadwell in the counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, or the six Bradwells inBuckinghamshire, Derbyshire and others. The first two of these are recorded as Bradewelle in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, whilst that in Warwickshire appears in the Pipe Rolls of the county in 1130 as 'Bradewella'. They all have much the same meaning which is nothing to do with wide wells but are derived from the Old English pre 7th century 'brad', meaning broad, and 'waella', a stream or small river, possibly ones that flooded. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor and as easy identification to those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area. An spelling of the name was Margery Brodwell of Gloucester in 1587, whilst John Bradwell married Mary Heyward at Tirley in Gloucestershire in June 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Izabell Broadwell, who was christened at St. Giles's Cripplegate, in the city of London, in 1561, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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