This interesting surname of English origin is a topographical name for a dweller by the road near the brook, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "broc" meaning "stream" plus "weg" "way or road". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one William Brockway who married Bridgett Waller on January 28th 1628 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, Bridget Brockway married John Manninge on June 19th 1641, at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, and George, son of Edward and Charity Brockway was christened on April 10th 1692 at St. Mary Whitechapel; Stepney. Variant spellings include Brokway, Brockwaye, etc.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Brokweye, which was dated 1255, the "Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, "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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