The illustrious surname Brattown finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England
known as Cornwall
. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England
, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames
were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal
System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal
territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic
names, the Cornish predominantly used local
surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People
at the time that surnames first came into use. Local
surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Brattown is a local type of surname and the Brattown family lived at the villages of Bratton Clovelly
and Bratton Fleming
. The name Bratton
means the settlement by the brook. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early Origins of the Brattown family
The surname Brattown was first found in Devon
, where the name is associated with two villages, Bratton Clovelly and Bratton Fleming. In the Domesday Book
survey of 1086 Bratton Clovelly was recorded as lands held by Baldwin the Sheriff while Bratton Fleming was held by the Count of Mortain and was the site of a swinery and sheep farms. Early in the history of the family name it branched to Dorset
, where William de Bratton, also recorded as de Braton, was registered in the Pipe Rolls
of 1195. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Some of the family may have originated in the village and civil parish of Bratton, near Westbury in Wiltshire as the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Godfrey de Bratton as holding lands there in 1273. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Bratton Castle (Bratton Camp) is a bivallate Iron Age hillfort on Bratton Down.
Early History of the Brattown family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brattown research.Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 179 and 1794 are included under the topic Early Brattown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brattown Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Bratton, Braton, Brattone, Bratone, Bratten and many more.
Early Notables of the Brattown family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brattown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brattown family to Ireland
Some of the Brattown family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 156 words (11 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 Brattown family to the New World and Oceana
An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Brattown: Patrick Bratton who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1854. John Bratton (1831-1898), born in South Carolina, enlisted in the Confederate Army upon the outbreak of the American Civil War and advanced rapidly through the ranks until he was appointed brigadier general in 1864. After the war he entered public life and was elected comptroller of South Carolina..