This interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from a place in Wiltshire called Brokenborough. Recorded as Brokeneberegge in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 956, and as Brocheneberge in The Domesday Book of 1086, for Wiltshire. The place was so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "brocen" literally meaning "broken" plus The Old English "beorg", a hill. The reference here is perhaps to the deep valley in which the Avon Flows. The surname, with variant spellings Brokenborrow, Brockenborough, Brokenbrowe etc. is well recorded in church registers of South West England from the late 16th Century. On January 21st 1579, Alicia Brokenborowe and Thomas Bishop were married in Marshfield, Gloucestershire. Joane Brokenbrowe, an infant, was christened there on October 5th 1634, and on April 7th 1667, Elias Brokenborrow, married a Mary Bailey in Marshfield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Brokenborrow, (marriage to Alice Gyngell), which was dated January 12th 1574, St. Michael's Kington, Wiltshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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