This unusual surname is one of a group of rare English topographical variant forms that derive from residence at either a "brad" (wide or large) "hus" (house) or "hyrst" (wood). The most popular modern spelling form is "Broadhurst" or "Broadhouse", but the original spelling was as shown below. These variant forms, which include Broadhus, Broades, Broadis, Brodish and Brodist, are usually local dialect derivations, although many like "Brodest" are of ancient pedigree in their own right. In this case, James Brodest was recorded as a christening witness at Sutton Maddich Church, Shropshire, on February 17th 1593, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 (Good Queen Bess), 1558 - 1603. The name recordings are rare however; a later example was that of one Edwin Brodest or Broadest, who on January 1st 1871, is recorded as marrying Hannah Tayler at Little Marcle, Herefordshire. 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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