Recorded as Briston and Breston this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Briston. This is known locally as Bristo or Bristow, thereby confusing it with Bristol in the West Country, which was originally called Bristow! Bristow and Bristo are also quite popular surnames in Norfolk, and they almost certainly originate from Briston, to add further to the confusion. Briston was first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1066 as 'Burstana', which would seem to translate as 'the place of the stone', although another explanation is that it stood on a ford, and hence provided a passing place on the Rive Bure. Either is possible although we prefer the explanation in regard to the stone, as this was a feature used widely around the country to mark the place of court and council meetings, as well as parish boundaries. Against that large stones are almost as rare in Norfolk as hens teeth! The surname is an early entry into the registers with Alice Briston marrying John Denney at Beeston with Bittering in 1552. This was during the reign of Edward V1th, (1547 - 1554) and known as 'The Boy King', he was only seventeen whe he died, whilst Hagar Breston married Richard Legat at Great Cressington, in 1703.
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