Brettingham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The family name Brettingham is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon names of Britain. It was originally a name for a person who worked as a maker of ropes or cords.

Early Origins of the Brettingham family

The surname Brettingham was first found in Norfolk, at Bradenham, a village and civil parish that dates back to before the Domesday Book where it was listed with the same spelling. [1] The place name literally means "broad homestead or enclosure" derived from the Old English words "brad" + "ham". [2]

The first record of the family was found here in the Pipe Rolls of 1177 when Suift de Bradenham was recorded as holding lands at that time. [3]

Later the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Richard de Bradenham, Norfolk; and Alan de Bradinham, Huntingdonshire. [4] In 1337, Richard de Bradenham was also recorded in Norfolk. [5] The Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III recorded William de Bradenham, Norfolk, 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I.'s reign.)

Bradenham is also a village and civil parish in Buckinghamshire, near Saunderton. This village also dates back to the Domesday Book [6] where it was listed as Bradeham. Bradenham Manor is a grand red brick manor house that dates back to the 13th century when it belonged to the Earl of Warwick.

Bradnam Wood is a 12.5-hectare (31-acre) Local Nature Reserve west of Maidenhead in Berkshire and is managed by The Woodland Trust.

Early History of the Brettingham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brettingham research. Another 280 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1177, 1273, 1337, 1500, 1612, 1739, 1699, 1769, 1750, 1806 and 1781 are included under the topic Early Brettingham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brettingham Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Brettingham include Bradnam, Bradenham, Bradinham, Bradinam, Bradnem and others.

Early Notables of the Brettingham family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Suift de Bradenham, a prominent 12th century landholder in Norfolk; and Matthew Brettingham (1699- 1769), known as Matthew Brettingham the Elder, an 18th-century Englishman who rose from humble origins to supervise the construction of Holkham Hall, Norfolk and eventually became one of the country's better-known architects. [7] His...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brettingham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Brettingham family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: a number of settlers who arrived in the New World by the 19th century.


Contemporary Notables of the name Brettingham (post 1700) +

  • George Brettingham Sowerby the Elder (1788-1854), British naturalist, illustrator, and conchologist, born in Lambeth, second son of James Sowerby
  • George Brettingham Sowerby III (1843-1921), British conchologist, publisher, and illustrator


  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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