This interesting name has two possible origins, the first being a locational name from Braine in Normandy. Alternatively, the name well recorded in Scotland from the mid 15th Century on, may be an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic Mac An Bhreitheamham. The Gaelic prefix 'mac' means 'son of', plus the personal/occupational name 'Breitheamh', a judge. The name is well recorded in The Hundred Rolls of various English counties in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). Thomas Brayne of Baldowy, witness in 1462, is the first recorded Scottish namebearer.One, David Brane appears in 'The Book of the Thane of Cowder' in 1477. On October 15th 1534 Elizabeth Brain and Philip Green were married in St. Bennet's, Paul's Wharf, London and in 1601 Rodger Brain appears in the Scottish Commissariot Record. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia Brayn, which was dated 1273 - in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire', 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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