This interesting surname is Scottish, but ultimately of Flemish origin. It is a regional name for someone from the province of Brabant in the Low countries, what is now Belgium and the Netherlands. It is a development of a medieval Scottish surname Brebner and Bradbanare, meaning an inhabitant of Brabant. Scotland had many connections with Flanders, and this name was originally carried by a merchant who is believed to have settled in Glasgow in the 14th century. What is certain is that from the late medieval times the surname figures prominently in the surving rolls and charters of the county. These recordings include Agnus Brebner who witnessed a "Calendar of the Laing charters", in 1489, and Andrew Brabnere was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1507. Forms of the spelling include Bremeyer, Bremner, Brimner, Brymner, and others. Early surviving recordings taken from church registers include William, the son of Robert and Catherine Bremner, who was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on December 10th 1736, and John Bremeyer who was christened in Edinburgh on April 29th 1773. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Brabounare. He was the landlord of a tenement in city of Irvine, and dated 1418, in the documents of the Royal Burgh of Irvine, and during the reign of King James 1st of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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