This is an English surname which seem to be particularly well recorded in the county of Yorkshire, abnd specifically in the eastern part around Hull, Beverley and York. The spellings are usually Brigham and much more rarely Brigam and Briggam. It is has two possible places of origin, being Brigham in Cumberland near Cockermouth, but most likely from Brigham near the small town of Driffield in East Yorkshire. The latter place seems to have been "diminished" in the 17th century, through changes in agricultural practices, and specifically drainage of the wetlands. Between the 14th and 19th centuries huge areas of East Anglia, Lincolnshire and as far north as Northallerton in North Yorkshire were affected, when lands which were formerly meadow cattle pasture, after draining became arable or were used for sheep, who required dry lands. It is estimated that as a result over one thousand villages disappeared completely or became diminished, the villagers forced to leave for other places. When they did, they took or were given, as their surname, the name of their former village. Brigham means the settlement by the bridge, that in Yorkshire being recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and in Cumbria two centuries later. An early example of the surname recordings is that of Ellen Brigham. She conveniently married a Robert Briggs at Pocklington, East Yorkshire, on May 1st 1505, in the reign of King Henry V11th (1485 - 1509).
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