This rather unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place thus called, north west of Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire. Recorded variously as "Brinkewrtha" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 1065; as "Brenchewrthe" in the Domesday Book of 1086; and as "Brenkewrth" in the 1275 Close Rolls of that county: the place was so named from the Olde English pre 7th Century "brinc(e)", the brink of a hill or steep slope (cognate with the Old Norse "brekka"), plus the Olde English "worth", homestead or enclosure; hence, "homestead on a slope".Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is particularly well recorded in English Church Registers from the mid 16th Century (see below), these recordings include: the marriage of Isabel Brinckworth and Thomas Shipton on November 16th 1581, at Beverstone, Gloucestershire, and the marriage of Mary Brinkworth and William Tayler on January 9th 1621, at Sherston Magna, Wiltshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edith Brinckworth, which was dated April 29th 1563, marriage to Thomas Bisshop, at Beverstone, Gloucestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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