This interesting and very uncommon name has its origin in an ancient Celtic personal name, Brice, Latinized as 'Britius', which was borne by the controversial 5th Century saint who succeeded St. Martin as Bishop of Tours in France. His fame and the growth of his cult at Tours were the main reasons for the popularity of the given name in France in the early Middle Ages; the Normans subsequently introduced the name into England after the Conquest of 1066, in the forms Brice and Bricot, recorded in a Latinized form, 'Bricius', in 12th Century Danelaw Charters in Lincolnshire.In both countries the personal name generated a variety of surnames; the English forms include Brice, Bryce and Bryson, while the French range from Bris, Brisse, Breisse and Brix to Bre(i)sset, Bre(i)ssan, Bresson and Breissot to Brissot and Brisson. The marriage of Rene Brisson and Anne Vesinat was recorded at Notre-Dame-de-Quebec, Quebec, in Canada, on September 6th 1664. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Estienne Breissan (marriage to Glaude Brune), which was dated 1637, La Chapelle - Graillouse, Ardeche, France, during the reign of King Louis X111 of France, 1610 - 1643. 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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