This rare and interesting name has two distinct possible sources, the first being that it is a variant form of Brennand, one of the most unusual names on the British Register. Brennand is of medieval English origin and relates to a punishment known as 'Burnt Hand', the surname being a nickname for the official who carried out the cruel task, or possibly the unfortunate recipient. This was certainly the case with Anna Burnand of Barnwell in Cambridgeshire who was so recorded in 1295. The derivation is from the Middle English 'brent' to burn, and 'hand'. However, this surname may also be a variant of the French Huguenot name 'Brenart', introduced into London in 1660 with the christening of Salomon Brenart on December 16th at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street. Also recorded in London, in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, is the marriage of Elisabetham Brenard and Nicolaus Messurer, on June 4th 1668. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Brennehand, which was dated 1229, The Rolls of Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, 'The Frenchman', 1216-1272. 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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