Recorded in many forms including Brimblecombe, Brimacombe, Brimicombe, Brimilcombe, Brimmacombe, Brinicombe and others, is of early medieval English origin. It is locational from a now "lost"medieval village in the county of Devonshire. An estimated five thousand villages and hamlets have disappeared in the British Isles since the Middle Ages, owing to such disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which probably a quarter of the population perished, or to the practice of "clearing" large areas of common land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 15th century. The placename was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire as Brumelcome in 1281, and as Bremylcomb in 1330, but does not seem to be recorded after those dates. The place name means "A narrow valley full of bramble". Recordings from early surviving English church registers include John Brimmacome at Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire, on February 20th 1587; the christening of Franncis Bremacom at St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, on September 30th 1621; and the marriage of Elizabeth Brimacombe and Lenthell Lindsey, at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London, on February 8th 1824. The first recorded spelling of the family name in church registers is probably that of Alica Bremelcombe, dated April 20th 1540, at Iddesleigh, Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry V111th, 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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