Recorded in many spellings including Brady, Brody, Brodie, Broady, and no doubt others, this is a surname of Anglo-Irish origins, of which it has no less than four, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, it may derive from the Gaelic surname Mac Bradaigh meaning the male descendant of the thieving and dishonest chief!! Be that as it may the Brady's were a powerful clan in Ireland, their chief holding control over a large territory lying to the east of Cavan, and probably deserving of his reputation. Surprisingly the earliest recorded namebearer as Gilbert MacBrady, the bishop of Ardagh from 1396 to 1400. The second origin is English and a nickname given to a person with excellent eyesight. This is from the pre 7th century "brad-eage", meaning broad eye. The earliest recording as shown below is from this source. The third origin is habitational from a lost place known as "Broad island" and somewhere in England, whilst lastly the name may be topographical for a dweller by a wide piece of land through a forest cleared for agriculture or "brad gehaeg". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Bradeie. This was dated 1170, in the cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Oxfordshire, whilst more recently (relatively) in 1615, Edwardus Broadey married Elizabetha Yarwoode at Sandbach in Cheshire, on November 10th of that year. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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