This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Broughall' in Shropshire, near Whitchurch. The placename means 'the hall or manor-house at the site of the fortress', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'burg, burh', fortress, usually the site of an ancient Roman fortification, with 'hall, heall', hall, manor-house, sometimes referring to a place of worship. Locational names were especially acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who had migrated to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The placename has generated a variety of surnames, ranging from Broughall, Broughill and Browhill to those arising from the usual pronunciation of the first element as 'Bruff', found as Bruffall, Bruffell and Bruffhill. These forms are located mainly in the north western counties. One James Bruffell was christened at St. Peter's, Liverpool, on August 11th 1751. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Radulphus Broughall (christening), which was dated October 11th 1566, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, 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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