, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Bretum. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Bretum family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames
were adopted in medieval England
is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames 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. The name Bretum is a local
type of surname and the Bretum 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 Bretum family
The surname Bretum 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 Bretum family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bretum research.Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 179 and 1794 are included under the topic Early Bretum History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bretum 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 Bretum family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bretum Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bretum family to Ireland
Some of the Bretum 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 Bretum family to the New World and Oceana
An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Bretum or a variant listed above: 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..