Brihtwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Brihtwell is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once 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 Brihtwell family
The surname Brihtwell 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 Brihtwell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brihtwell 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 Brihtwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Brihtwell Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Brihtwell family name include Brightwell, Brightwelle, Britewell, Brihtwell, Brictewell, Brichtewell, Brichwell and many more.
Early Notables of the Brihtwell family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Brihtwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Brihtwell family to Ireland
Some of the Brihtwell 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 Brihtwell family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Brihtwell surname or a spelling variation of the name include: 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