This is a rare surname of Manx (Isle of Man) origins. Out of the forty thousand or so British surnames, only about only about eighty are truly Manx, and this one, recorded as Bridson, Brydson and sometimes Bryson, are amongst the most prominent. The surname originates from the village of Malew, and it is said the derivation is from the 7th century Manx Gaelic 'Mac Giolla Bhrighde', which translates as 'the son of the follower of Bridget'. St Bridget was the Abbess of Kildare in Ireland, and is believed to have died there in the year 525 a.d. She is also the patron saint of blacksmiths and poets, an unusual diversity of interests and occupations which is quite remarkable even for a saint! However as The Reverend Thomas Brydson, vicar of Kilmalcom, Renfrewshire, Scotland, (1806 - 1855), was a famous poet of the early Victorian period, perhaps St Bridget was correctly chosen. Presumably the first 'Bridsons/Brydsons' entered the Isle of Man as missionaries from Ireland and specifically Kildare, however this is not proven. The first recordings according to the book of 'Surnames of the Manks', the latter being apparently the 'correct' spelling, is in 950 a.d. as 'Melbrigdi', presumably a baptismal name, and barely recognizable. The surnames are, as was common in small communities, remote from mainland influence, much later. Examples of the surname recording taken from authentic church registers on the Isle of Man include Ellin Bridson of Malew, who married John Quaile on February 3rd 1667, and Ann Bridson, who married William Kissack, also at Malew, on December 4th 1792. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander McGilbrid, which was dated 1511, in the registers of the Isle of Man, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as 'Bluff King Hal', 1510 - 1547. 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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