This interesting name, widely recorded in Sussex church registers under the variant spellings Brodbrige, Bradbridge, Broadbridg, etc., from the mid 16th Century, is of English locational origin from a place in Sussex called Broadbridge. The component elements of the name are the Old English pre 7th Century "brad", (Medieval English "brode"), meaning "broad" or "wide", plus the Old English "brycg", a cognate of the Old High German, "brucca", a bridge; hence, "Broadbridge". On August 21st 1574, Ralph, son of Thomas Bradbridge, was christened in Boxgrove, Sussex, and on June 15th 1589, Mabell, daughter of Rycharde Brodbrydge, was christened in Heyshott.The marriage of Elizabeth Broadbridg and William West took place in Fernhurst on June 21st 1624, and on December 8th 1627, Sarah Broadbridge and Homewood Prier were married in Lewes, Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brodbrige, (witness at a christening), which was dated February 9th 1550, Coombes, Sussex, during the reign of King Edward V1, "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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