This is an English surname. It is locational from any of the villages called Branston, Brandeston, Brandeston, or Braunston in the various counties of Leicester, Lincoln, Stafford, Suffolk, Norfolk and Northampton. The origination is the pre 7th century personal name Braun, Brand or Brant which are Anglo-Saxon and derive from the word 'brand' meaning a sword or fire-brand. The village names therefore all have same meaning of 'Brands village'. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. The alternative being that the name was the name of the lord of the manor and his descendants as may well be the case here. The name development over the centuries includes such early recordings as Haim de Branston of Lincoln in1202, and Holte de Brandeston of Suffolk in 1212. Later recordings include Robert Braunston and William Branston of Suffolk in1568. The modern spellings of the surname include Branston, Branson, Bransom, Bramston, and Bramson. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Branteston. This was dated 1200, in the Pipe Rolls of Suffolk during the reign of King John of England 1216-1272 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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