This is an ancient surname which has even more ancient antecedents. It is topographical and literally describes somebody who lived at a dwelling by a 'brad wei' ( Olde English pre 7th century). This was not a wide road, although it may have been by accident, but a description of an area which was used as a road, even if such a term would not have been recognizable to the inhabitants. It has been suggested that the meaning is that of a surviving Roman road, which would have been stone paved, but this is not proven.Similar names are Holloway, which was a path or way which had been hollowed out by thousands of feet over centuries, and usually applied to the main street of a village, or 'Bitherway' which again describes one who lived 'by the way'! The earliest known recording of the 'Broadway' is in the 972 Cartularium Saxonicum (The Saxon maps), where a place called 'Badanuuege' is described. This may be the modern 'Bradninch' in Devon. Examples of early surname recordings include Hugh del Bradweye of Cambridge in 1273, Ernald de Bradewaye of Norfolk in 1280, and John de Bardewaye of Somerset in the same period. Later examples are those of Daniel Broadwaye christened at the church of St Mary Botham, London, on December 6th 1570, John Brodwaye, buried at St Michaels Church, Cornhill, London on 1579, and Elizabeth Broadway who married Tristram Hare at St James Church, Dukes Street, London, on May 13th 1690. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Brodways, which was dated 1225, recorded as being the 'Prepositor of Bristol', during the reign of King Henry 111, known as '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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