Apparently recorded as Brensford and Brinsford, this is quite a rare English locational surname. It would seem to originate either from a "lost" medieval village possibly called "Bruns-forda" or similar, and meaning the narrow river crossing operated by a person called Brun (Brown), or it may be a transposition of a place name such as Brentford. There is no clear agreement as to the meaning of Brentford. It first appears as Braegunteford in the year 705, making it one of the earliest of all known recorded surviving place names. This is belived to mean the ford of the River Brent, with Brent meaning either a hill or a burnt place, neither being wholly satisfactory explanations. That Brensford is a clerical slip from Brentford seems most likely. It happend all the time in ancient records and continues to happen now in computerized forms. An examination of the surviving recordings in the church registers of the diocese of Greater London shows that in 1650 the name appears as Brensford, with that of Christopher Brensford who married Alice Collier at St Andrews by the Wardrobe in the city of London. However a century or so later it is always recorded as Brinsford, an example being Edward Brinsford, a christening witness at St Andrews Holborn, also city of London, on New Years Day, 1773.
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