This interesting surname is of English locational origin from "Bryanston", a parish in Dorset, a mile and a half north-west of Blandford Forum and is the seat of Lord Portman. The place-name itself means "Brian's tun", the first element being a Celtic personal name "Brian", containing the element being a Celtic personal name "Brian", containing the element "bre-", hill, probably with the transferred sence "eminence", bearers of which were among the Normans who invaded England in 1066, and then went on the invade Ireland in the 12th Century (where it mingled with a native Irish version, which was borrowed by the Vikings who introduced it into north-west England before the conquest). The second element "tun" is an Old English word meaning "enclosure or village settlement". James Bryanton married Ellen Penner on September 30th, 1713, at Huntingfield was christened at Cratfield, Suffolk on August 14th 1774, A Susan Bryanton was christened also at Cratfield on October 5th 1777. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Bryanton, which was dated August 16th 1696, married Grace Squire at St. Sidwell, Exeter in Devon, during the reign of King William 111, "William of Orange and England", 1689 - 1702. 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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