This interesting and unusual name is of English origin and is locational for a place so called in Cambridgeshire, which was recorded in French Documents in 1177-1179 as 'Brinkelai', in the Assize Rolls of 1203 as 'Brinkele', and the Tax Records of 1291 as 'Brunckele', deriving either from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Brynca', or 'brinka', the brink of a hill, a steep slope, with 'leah', a grove. However, this surname may also have its source as 'Brenkley' in Northumberland, recorded first in the Pipe Rolls of 1178 as 'Brinchelawa', and in the Fees of 1242 as 'Brinkelawe', having 'Brynea' for the first element, and 'hlaw', a hill or mound for the second. Humphrey Brinkley married Anie Smith on November 15th in 1634 at St. Edward's, Cambridgeshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brinkley, marriage to Mary Snelhawke, which was dated March 7th 1624, at St. Michael's, Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603-1625. 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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