This ancient and noble surname has a number of possible derivations. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, as a locational name from any of the numerous places so called in Durham, Northumberland, Norfolk, Suffolk and Warwickshire. The placename in Norfolk appears as "Brandun" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the same source records the place in Warwickshire as "Brandune". All of these placenames are derived from the Olde English "brom", broom, gorse, and "dun", a hill. However, in some instances, the surname Brandon may be of Old French origin, as a patronymic form of "Brand", which may derive from the Germanic personal name "Brando", a shortened form of various compound personal names containing the element "brand", sword, or a metonymic occupational name for a sword-smith, from the same derivation, with the patronymic suffix "-(s)on". Hence, "son of Brand" or "son of the sword-smith". The first recording of the surname (below) is from the Anglo-Saxon derivation. Charles Brandon (died 1545), first Duke of Suffolk, went on a royal mission to France in 1514, and although already married, secretly wed Henry V111's sister, the Princess Mary, in Paris; this second marriage was validated by a papal bull. Gerard Brandon was christened on October 7th 1717, at Crevic, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Leofric de Brandune, which was dated circa 975, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk and Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward the Martyr, Saxon ruler of England, 975 - 1978. 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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