This is an English locational name from the places in England so called 'Brereton' in Staffordshire and Cheshire, and 'Brearton' in West Yorkshire. The place name derivations are slightly different as can be seen from records in the Domesday Book of 1066. Brereton in Cheshire and Brearton in West Yorkshire are recorded as 'Bretone' and 'Brareton' respectively and derive from the Old English pre 7th Century elements 'braer' or 'brer', briar and 'tun', meaning enclosure or settlement. Brereton in Staffordshire is first recorded as 'breredon', the second element being 'dun' meaning hill. The two names would therefore denote one who lived at the settlement where briars grew, or at the briar hill. John Brereton and Margaret Kempton were married in London 1585. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Brertona, which was dated 1176, Yorkshire Charter Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154-1189. 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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