Recorded as Brasman, Bresman, Brosnan, Brosnahan, Brosman, Broseman, and others, this is a confusing group of surnames, which may have three possible and separate origins, and an equal number of nationalities. There is no doubt that as Brosnan and Brosnahan, it is usually Irish and a development of the ancient Gaelic O' Brosnachain. This translates as the male descendant of the man from Brosna, a place in County Kerry. At the end of the 19th century there were two hundred and sixty Brosnan families in County Kerry, with the earliest recordings being that of Teag O' Brosnanes, in the charters of Clonmel in 1333. The second possible origin which could apply to all name spellings is as a forshortening of the personal name Ambrose, where it loses its prefix "Am". Ambrose was a popular Crusader name of Ancient Greek origins, and means "immortal". Introduced into Europe in the 12th century it recorded in over fifty individual spellings and was originally particularly associated with Flanders. A third possible origin is occupational, and may have described a brass maker. A recording of Bresman is that of Thomas Bresman who married Mary Shaw at St Pancras Old Church, in thd city of London, on August 10th 1840.
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