This picturesque and unusual name of Medieval English origin is locational from a place so called in Derbyshire. The earliest recording is from the 'Index to the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum' as 'Bricthicesfel', and in the 'Derbyshire Charters' as 'Brittrichisfield' and is a derivation of 'Beorhtric' an Old English pre 7th Century personal name of unknown etymology and 'feld', open country or field. During the Middle Ages, when it was becoming increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt or be given the placename as a means of identification thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.Amongst the recordings in Derbyshire is one Elizabeth Brushfield the daughter of Johannis Brushfield on March 2nd 1607, at Baslow. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brushfeld (witness), which was dated 7th September 1603, Baslow, Derbyshire, 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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