This is a surname of English and specifically Yorkshire origins. Recorded in various spellings including Brockbank, Brockleban, Brooksbank, Brookbank, Brookbanks and others, this is a locational surname. It originates either from the villages of Brcklebank in the counties of Cumberland and Lancashire or from the "lost" hamlet of Brooksbank said to have been in the area known as Agbrigg, near the city of Bradford, in West Yorkshire. All have the same meaning, which is probably badgers bank from 'brock, meaning a badger, and 'bank', a slope. However it may also have described a place on the bank of a brook, formely spelt broc. In ancient times a brook was not a stream, but an area of winter water, which dried out in the summer. Locational surnames were usually given to those people who left their original home to live in another town or village. Medieval spelling being at best erratic, lead to the development of alternative spellings. In this case early examples of the surname recording include Thomas Brocklebank at St Giles Cripplegate in the city of London, on March 4th 1651, Sibell Brockbank, who married Florence Caudwell at St Michaels church, Cornhill, in 1591, and Christopher Smirthwaite and Elizabeth Brooksbank, who were married at St. George's chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster in 1791. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brokesbank. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. This was during the reign of King Richard 11nd of England, 1377 - 1399.
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