This very old and rare medieval English surname is almost certainly locational and derives from a now "lost" medieval village called "Bridgemont". This place was near the village of Disley in Cheshire and is believed to be one of the estimated seven thousand hamlets that have disappeared since the 14th Century through plague, war and agricultural clearance. A hamlet called Bridgemont also existed near Dunmanway, Co. Cork, Ireland, which may have been in some way connected with the former Cheshire village. It is also possible that the name is a variant, although very early, form of "Bridgeman" - a person who guarded the bridge or collected the tolls. The name is also found in Holland as "Bregmen", and as such has been recorded both in England and Australia before being "anglicized" to Bridgeman. It is almost certain that most Brigmonts, Bridgemonts, Brigments and Bridgements suffered a similar fate. The Coat of Arms shows a man crossing a stone bridge, above water. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Charles Brigement, which was dated September 3rd 1596, a christening witness at the church of St. Mary Aldermary, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 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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