Recorded in several spellings including Brassill, Brazil, and Breazeall, this surname has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the South American country. It is Irish, was formerly only recorded in ancient times in the County of Wexford, in the south east cormer of the country. It derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic "O'Breasail", which translates literally as "The descendant of the one involved in strife". Almost all true Gaelic surnames have a nickname as the base, and usually from ten centuries or more ago. These base names referred to the real or supposed characteristics of the then chief. Some of these characteristics were very robust indeed, and included such meanings as "ugly head" or "fickle", which not everybody would regard as complimentary. This does not seem to have worried the people of ancient times, suggesting perhaps that to them the meaning at the time, may have been different from today's interpretation. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic surviving records and charters include William Braseile, the son of John Braseile, christened at the church of St John the Baptist, Dublin, on November 7th 1652, Thomas Brazil, a witness at the town of Waterford, on October 19 1863, and Hannah Brassell, a witness at the town of Newmarket on Fergus, on July 22nd 1864.
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