This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name from residence in a house near a brook. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "broc", cognate with the Old High German "bruoh", Low German "brok", low marshy ground, brook, stream, with "hus", house. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Brockford, Suffolk; Brookland, Kent; Brooksby, Leicestershire; and Broxfield, Northumberland, all have the Olde English "broc" as an initial element, and the variant spellings show the different forms the element has assumed. In the modern idiom, the surname has several variant spellings ranging from Brockas, Brockhus and Brookhouse to Brockess, Broxhaus and Broxis. On May 10th 1583, Peter Brockus, an infant, was christened at St. Margaret Patten, London, and on March 5th 1644, Thomas Brockesse and Elizabeth Ellis were married at Terling, Essex. The marriage of Elisabetha Broxhaus to Jo(h)an Theodar Hardinck took place at Sankt Paul, Dorsten, Westfalen, Germany, in 1773. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Brokehous, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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