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Bretone History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Origins Available: English, French

Cornwall in southwestern England provides the original birthplace of the surname Bretone. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. 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 Bretone history began at the villages of Bratton Clovelly and Bratton Fleming in Devon. The name Bratton means the settlement by the brook.

Early Origins of the Bretone family

The surname Bretone was first found in Devon. Bratton is a village and civil parish, near Westbury, in Wiltshire and was part of the ancient parish of Westbury until 1892. Bratton Castle (Bratton Camp) is a bivallate Iron Age hillfort on Bratton Down.

Early History of the Bretone family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bretone research.
Another 567 words (40 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1195, 1273, 1500 and 1794 are included under the topic Early Bretone History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bretone 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 Bretone family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bretone Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bretone family to the New World and Oceana

A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Bretone: 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..

Bretone Family Crest Products

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