Brakston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Brakston family
The surname Brakston was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor in the West Riding. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Barkston, held by Ilbert de Lacy as over-lord, a Norman Baron who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Early History of the Brakston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brakston research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1662, 1662, 1611, 1607 and 1611 are included under the topic Early Brakston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brakston Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Brakston family name include Barkston, Brakston, Braxton, Brackston, Barckston, Braxton, Barxton, Barkstead, Barksted and many more.
Early Notables of the Brakston family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Barkstead (died 1662), an English Major-General, convicted of Regicide of Charles I. "Three prisoners were immediately sent to England, and, as they had been previously outlawed, their trial turned entirely on the question of identity. Barkstead, with his companions, was executed on 19 April 1662. He showed great courage...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brakston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brakston family
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Brakston family to immigrate North America: Wm. Barkstead, who settled in Virginia in 1701; Carter Braxton, who came to Ontario in 1871; Charles J. Braxton, who came to Texas in 1841; Christipher Braxton, who came to Mississippi in 1798.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)