This most interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from "Brightling", a place in Sussex, which was recorded "Byrhtlingan" in the Codex diplomatics aevi Saxonici, 1016-1020 and "Brislinga" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The placename itself is composed of the Old English pre seventh Century personal names "Beorhthelm" or "Beorhtel", plus the suffix ending "-ing", which when attached to a personal name mean "people of", hence the place was probably a settlement of "Beorhthelm's" or "Beorhtel's" people. The surname first appears in written records in the Sussex Church Registers in the early 17th Century, (see below). The first recording of the name in London church registers is on June 19th 1785 when one John Brightling married Elizabeth Secker at St. Dunstan, Stepney. Many recordings of the name are found around Carshalton in Surrey, where it was first recorded on November 8th 1795, when one Charlotte, daughter of Henry and Ann Brightling was christened there. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roben Brightlinge married Judeth Harme, which was dated February 3rd 1624, at Warbleton, Sussex, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1602 - 1625. 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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