Despite its very unusual spelling this name is in fact Olde English, it derives from the word 'beorht', and was a baptismal name which means 'bright or one with a pleasing appearance'. The most common modern spelling is in fact 'bright' but there have been many variants over the centuries. The name recordings and development includes William le Brythe in the Assize Rolls for Somerset, in 1278, whilst Herveus Brite is recorded in Cambridge in 1279. Elizabeth Britghte, the daughter of Jasper was christened at St.Mary Abechurch, London in 1600, whilst in 1840 John Brittee was a witness at St. Marylebone Church, London on November 22nd. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Briht, which was dated 1252, The Abbey of Ramsay Register, Huntingdon, during the reign of King Henry II, The Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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