Recorded in some twenty spellings, including Bremelcombe, Bremelcome, Brimblecombe, Brimblecome, Brimilcomb, Brimilcome, Brimilcom, and many others, this is an English locational surname. It originates either from Brimblecombe, a medieval "lost" village in the county of Devon, or Brimcombe, a similar "lost" village, and now a locality in Berkshire, or Brimscombe, a village near Stroud in Gloucestershire. Villages were lost for many reasons including the Enclosure Acts. These resulted in the loss of the common lands on which tenants grazed their livestock, to landowners, the infamous Great Plagues which swept Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, growing urbanisation, civil war, and drainage of the extensive wetlands of the South West, and East Anglia. The placenames and hence the later surnames derive from the pre 7th century words "bremel", meaning bramble, and "cumb", a narrow valley, to give bramble valley. As an example the lost Devonshire village is recorded as "Brumelcome" in the charters of 1281, and as "Bremycomb" in 1330. Examples of the surname recordings taken from early surviving church registers include John Brimmacome of Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire, on November 14th 1587, and William Brimblecombe who married Millescant Browne on November 13th 1598 at Siston, also Gloucestershire, whilst Charles Brinnicome was christened on January 28th 1614 at the church of St. David, Exeter, and Mary Brimelcombe married Abraham Holman on August 9th 1785 at Dunsford, in Devon. One of the earliest recordings is that of Alica Bremelcombe. This was dated April 20th 1540, when she was christened 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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