This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place called Brasted, a parish and village on the river Darent, near Westerham in Kent, which appears as "Bradestede" circa 1050, in the "Domesday Monachorum", and as "Bradsteda" in the Pipe Rolls of 1184. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "brad", broad, and "stead, stede", a place, site of a building, an element which is also found in Halstead, Milsted and many more placenames; hence Brasted means "the broad place". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Early examples of the surname include: Nicholas Brasted, who was christened on December 19th 1574, at East Grinstead, Sussex; the marriage of William and Judith Brasted on October 2nd 1589, at Westham, Sussex; and the marriage of Ann Braisted and James Harridance on November 17th 1828, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Brasted, which was dated March 28th 1565, christened at East Grinstead, in Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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