An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The ancestry of the name Brightwell dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in either of the settlements named Brightwell in Berkshire or Suffolk, or in the place called Brightwell Baldwin in Oxfordshire.
The surname Brightwell 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.
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Brightwell have been found, including Brightwell, Brightwelle, Britewell, Brihtwell, Brictewell, Brichtewell, Brichwell and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brightwell research. Another 451 words (32 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1273, 1439, 1500, 1675, 1787, 1806, 1811, 1388 and 1390 are included under the topic Early Brightwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brightwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Brightwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Brightwell, or a variant listed above:
Brightwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Brightwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Brightwell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Brightwell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Brightwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Brightwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brightwell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 11 December 2015 at 14:14.