Brettun History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Brettun is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Brettun family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Brettun 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 Brettun family
The surname Brettun 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 Brettun family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brettun 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 Brettun History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brettun Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Brettun have been found, including Brittoner, Brettoner, Brittany, Briton, Breton, Bretun, Bruton, Bretener, Bretoner, Brettner, Brittain and many more.
Early Notables of the Brettun 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 Brettun Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brettun family to Ireland
Some of the Brettun 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 Brettun family
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Brettun were among those contributors: 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