This very interesting name has an extremely complex background. It is essentially Scottish, derives from Gaelic 'Breatunnack' and translates as 'the Briton' - which may mean a person from the Olde (British) Kingdom of Strathclyde - in Scotland! On the other hand it could mean 'a Breton' one from Brittany or even a Welshman. The original recordings in Scotland include Gilcudbright Brecnach, (charter witness) in 1124 and Duncan Bretnaghe of Fife in 1296. In England the name development has included Brecknock (1662) and Brecknoc (1694).The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brecknocke which was dated 1611 (Married) Jane Carye at St. Johns, Hackney, London. during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland 1603-1625. 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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