This interesting and rare surname has two possible derivations, and is a late medieval variant of either of the more familiar surnames Broadhouse or Broadhurst. Firstly, it may be of topographical origin, given to a "dweller at the large house", from the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "brad", broad, extensive, and "hus", a house, possibly a mansion or manor. However, in some instances the name may be either of locational derivation from Broadhurst, a hamlet near Horsted Keynes in Sussex; or a topographical name for someone who lived by the broad wood; both are derived from the Olde English "brad", as above, and "hyrst", wood.Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, as both man-made and natural features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, while locational surnames were often given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the christening of Richard, son of Roger and Elyzabeth Brodist, on May 20th 1644, at St. Thomas, Dudley, Worcestershire; the marriage of Samuel Brodis and Jeane Taylor on April 9th 1682, at St. Katherine by the Tower, London; and the marriage of Mary Ann Broadist and John Russell on May 10th 1818, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Bradhus, which was dated 1214, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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