Brightwelle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestors of the Brightwelle surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they 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 Brightwelle family
The surname Brightwelle 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. 
Important Dates for the Brightwelle family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brightwelle 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 Brightwelle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brightwelle 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 Brightwelle include Brightwell, Brightwelle, Britewell, Brihtwell, Brictewell, Brichtewell, Brichwell and many more.
Early Notables of the Brightwelle family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brightwelle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brightwelle family to Ireland
Some of the Brightwelle 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 Brightwelle 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: John Brightwell, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1749.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print