This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places in southern and western England thus called. These places include Bratton, north west of Wellington in Shropshire, and Bratton Seymour, a parish and village near Wincanton in Somerset, recorded respectively as "Brochetone" and "Broctune" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Both these villages share the same meaning an derivation, that is, the Olde English pre 7th Century "broc", brook, water-meadow, and "tun", enclosure, settlement; hence, "settlement on the brook". Seymour is the French family name Saint Maur from one St. Maur in France. Bratton, north east of Westbury in Wiltshire and Bratton near Minehead in Somerset, were both recorded as "Bracton" in the 12th Century Pipe Rolls of the above counties, and have as an initial element the Olde English "braec", newly cultivated ground, with "tun" (as before). Bratton Clovelly and Bratton Fleming, Devonshire, are also named from the latter source. One John de Bratton of Somerset was recorded in the first year of Edward 111's reign (1327). On October 24th 1654, Ann Bratton and William Pennie were married at Evercreech, Somerset. A Coat of Arms granted to the Bratton family depicts a silver lion rampant on a black shield. Black denotes Constancy, and the Lion, the king of beasts, is emblematic of Strength, Courage and Generosity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey de Bratton, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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