Recorded as Breward, Brewood, Breawood and Breewood, this name is an English surname. It is of locational origin from a place in Staffordshire called Brewood. This place is ancient, being first recorded as Brewode in the Domesday Book of 1086, and later as Brewuda in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire in 1166. The derivation of the place name and hence the later surname is from the pre 7th century Olde Welsh element 'bre', meaning a hill, plus the Olde English word 'wuda', meaning a wood. Hence 'a wood on the hill'. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names that were given either to the lord of the manor and his descendants as may well be the case here, as the suranme is well recorded within its original county, or as a means of identifying a 'stranger', one who had left his or her original homestead, and had moved somewhere else. The Staffordshire church registers from the late 16th century have the spelling both as Bruwood, which now seems to be extinct, and Brewood. These include Alice Brewood who married Hamfrey Blewe at Tamworth on November 6th 1598, and the marriage of William Hartell to Joan Bruwood, on November 24th 1613. The first church recording was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st (1558 - 1603). 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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