Recorded in many spelling forms including Braun, Braune and Braunes, and the locational Branston, Braunton and Braunston, this is an English surname. Its derivation is from the pre 7th century Anglo-Germanic word 'brand', meaning a sword or fire-brand, but used as a personal name and later a surname. As such it forms forms the first element of various English placenames such as Brandeston, in the county of Suffolk, Braunton in Devonshire, and Branston and Braunston in the counties of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Warwickshire. These place names all have the same translation as 'Braun's village, ' Braunston in Northamptonshire has the distinction of being one of the first places for which recordfs still exist, first being recorded in the year 956 a.d. as Brantestun, whilst Braunton in Devon is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Brom tuna. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving rolls and charters of the medieval period include Ralph Brand in the Pipe Rolls of the city of London in 1184, and William de Branteston of Northumberland in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any form is believed to be that of William Brant. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book for the county of Norfolk, and during the reign of King William 1st. He was later to be known as "The Conqueror", and reigned 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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