Brichwel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The present generation of the Brichwel family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in either of the settlements named Brightwell in Berkshire or Suffolk, or in the place called Brightwell Baldwin in Oxfordshire.
Early Origins of the Brichwel family
The surname Brichwel was first found in Oxfordshire, where the name is associated with the village of Brightwell Baldwin. In the Domesday Book survey of 1086 Brightwell Baldwin was recorded as lands held by William the Conqueror and the Bishop of Bayeux. During the 11th century it was the site of a mill. Robert de Brictewell was registered in Oxfordshire in 1205. Brightwell Castle was built in 1145 by King Stephen in the village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, but was destroyed in 1153 by his cousin Matilda's son during a civil war. He would later become known as King Henry II.
Years later, Thomas Bryghtwell or Brythwell (d. 1390), was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford and is chiefly known in connection with the proceedings against Wycliffe's followers taken at the council of Blackfriars in London in 1382. 
Early History of the Brichwel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brichwel research. Another 226 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1273, 1439, 1500, 1675, 1787, 1806, 1811, 1388 and 1390 are included under the topic Early Brichwel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brichwel Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Brichwel include Brightwell, Brightwelle, Britewell, Brihtwell, Brictewell, Brichtewell, Brichwell and many more.
Early Notables of the Brichwel family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brichwel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brichwel family to Ireland
Some of the Brichwel family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brichwel family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Brichwel were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: John Brightwell, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1749.
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- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print