This surname recorded as Bransden or Bransdon, is almost certainly locational and derives either from one of the various villages called "Brandon" or from some now lost place. Certainly it appears to have originated in the spelling form of Bransden from the Pulborough district of Sussex in the 17th century. The Kent - Sussex dialect of the Middle English period from the 14th to the 18th century was famous for "creating" surnames, and this appears to be the case here. However with surnames nothing is certain, and we can only repeat the recordings of history. The origin is definitely Anglo-Saxon pre 10th century, and the derivation is from either the Olde English "brom" meaning broom or gorse plus "dun" - a hill or the Germanic "Brand" a personal name which translates as "sword". The 's' is intrusive, and a component of the local dialect as described above. It has been suggested the "Brand" may be a metonymic for a swordsmith, which would give "The hill of the swordsmith." This is possible but "Gorse Hill" seems more logical. Recordings of the surname seem to all derive from George Bransden as shown in the first recording below, and that of his son also called George, christened at Pulborough on November 9th 1637. Other recordings include John Bransdon, a witness at the christening of his daughter Ann at the church of All Hallows The Great, London on September 14th 1718, and William Bransden, recorded at St Lukes Church, Chelsea, on August 9th 1829. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Bransden, which was dated December 28th 1633, a witness at his daughter Alice's christening, at Pulborough, Sussex. during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr". 1625 - 1649. 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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