Brathun History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Brathun is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Brathun family lived in Devon. The name is a reference to the French province of Brettagne or Brittany, from where this family arrived in 1066. 
Early Origins of the Brathun family
The surname Brathun was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from the 11th century. Originating in Brittany,  the name was introduced to England in 1066 with Auvrai le Breton being present at the Norman Conquest in 1066 under the banner of Alain le Roux. William the Conqueror rewarded Auvrai for his service with lordships in Devon. Later some of the family were found at Great Witchingham in Norfolk. "The church is a handsome structure, chiefly in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower [holds the remains of] John Britton, Bishop of Hereford, who died in 1275." 
A search through early rolls provided a glimpse of the many spellings in use throughout ancient Briton at the time: Geoffrey le Bretun was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Essex in 1164; Geoffrey le Briton in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1164; Louis le Brion in Essex in 1166; Ralph Bretun in Oseney, Oxfordshire in 1166; William le Bruton in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1248; and John le Bruton in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1279. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: John de Brytaygn, Cambridgeshire; Giffard le Bretun, Buckinghamshire; Hugo le Bretun, Cambridgeshire; and Roger le Bretun, Suffolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed; Alicia de Britten; Elias de Britton; and Ricardus Britton as all holding lands there at that time. 
Early History of the Brathun family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brathun research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1164, 1166, 1166, 1248, 1279, 1379, 1599, 1654, 1771, 1806, 1294, 1297, 1644, 1714, 1651, 1678 and are included under the topic Early Brathun History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brathun Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Brathun has been recorded under many different variations, including Brittoner, Brettoner, Brittany, Briton, Breton, Bretun, Bruton, Bretener, Bretoner, Brettner, Brittain and many more.
Early Notables of the Brathun family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Ranulph le Breton, canon of St. Pauls in the 13th century; William Briton, a prominent theologian of the 14th century; a bearer of Britain, who was Lord Mayor of London from 1294-1297; and Thomas Britton (1644-1714), an English charcoal merchant best known as a concert promoter from Rushden, Northamptonshire. He was known as the celebrated 'musical small-coal man.'  He "was born at or near Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, about the year 1651. He was apprenticed in London to a coal-dealer, and afterwards commenced business in Aylesbury Street, Clerkenwell, as a dealer in 'small-coal'...
Another 150 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brathun Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brathun family to Ireland
Some of the Brathun family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brathun family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Brathuns were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Robart Brittin, who came to Virginia in 1618; John Brittaine, who came to Virginia in 1638; William Brittin, who was on record in Virginia in 1675; Lionel Brittain, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Elizabeth, who all came to New Jersey in 1680.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print