Recorded in the spellings of Brat, Bratt, Brate, and the diminutives Brattell, Brattie, Braty, Bratty and probably others, this is a medieval English surname. It has at least two possible origins. The first is from 'bratte', an Olde English probably pre 7th century word which translates as cloak or pinafore, and was therefore occupational for a person who manufactured such garments, or perhaps who habitually wore them. The second possibility is from the word 'braten,' this was an Anglo-Saxon word which means to cook or roast.This again was occupational, and applied to seller of cooked meats. Another unproven possibility is that the name is a derivative of the surnames Brit, Bryt or Bret, themselves short forms of Breton or Briton, and hence usually a person from Brittany in France. Early examples of the surname recordings include Joan Bratt, of Seighford in Staffordshire, christened there on Match 7th 1562, and Thomas Braty or Bratty, a christening witness at St Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London on October 24th 1658, at the end of the 'reign' of Oliver Cromwell. Surnames originally became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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