This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of the locational surname 'Brignall', deriving from the place so called near Greta Bridge in North Yorkshire. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Bring(en)hale', as 'Briganhala' in the Yorkshire Charters of 1150, and, in 1218, as 'Briggenhale'. The name means 'the haugh of Bryni's people', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Bryni', with the suffix '-ing' denoting 'people, family of', and the Old English 'halh', a corner, recess, which in the North of England acquired the special meaning of a haugh, a piece of flat alluvial land by the side of a river. The modern surname derived form the placename 'Brignall' has a number of variant forms, among them Bridgnell, Bridgnall, Bricknall and Bricknell. The marriage of George Bridgnell and Margaret Clarke was recorded at Melsonby in Yorkshire on November 29th 1673. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Briggenale, which was dated 1379, The Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns, during the reign of King Richard 11, 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377-1399. 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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