Recorded in many spelling forms including Brakewell, Breakwell, Breckwell, Breckell, Brickhill, Brickill and Brichell, this is an English surname. It is of pre medieval origins, and is a locational surname whose former 'homes' were the places now called Great and Little Brickhill, or Bow Brickhill, near Bletchley in the county of Buckinghamshire, but originally just one village. This place was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Brichelle", but by the end of the 12th Century had been divided into three settlements then recorded as Bolle Brichulle, Magna Brikehille and Parua Brichull. The name Brickhill derives from the pre 7th century Old Welsh "brig", meaning top or summit, and the later English word hill. The "Bow" of Bow Brickhill is from the Old English personal name "Bolla", to give Bolla's hill. The development of the surname includes: Roger Brickell in the registers of the city of London for 1583, Elizabeth Breckwell, the daughter of James Breckwell, christened at Endell Street Lying in Hospital, also in the city of London, on December 17th 1772, and Martha Breakwell, who married Richard Chapman at St Lukes Church, Chelsea, on April 25th 1797. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of John Brickhill who married Jone Seaman, at Addington, in Buckinghamshire, on June 5th 1564. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, and known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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