The history of the Bryghten family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They lived at Breighton in the East Riding of Yorkshire
where they were established since the early Middle Ages. Some have mistakenly thought the name came from Brighton in Sussex
, but until the late 1800s that place was called Brighthelmestone.
Early Origins of the Bryghten family
The surname Bryghten was first found in Yorkshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor of Breighton in the East Riding. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, the sizeable village of Breighton was held Ralph de Mortimer, a battle of Hastings warrior, who was granted many 123 Lordships by Duke William of Normandy, his chief seat being that of Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire
. Which of his under-tenants or relatives held Breighton is unknown, but we feel certain that this is the ancient ancestor of the Brightons. He was succeeded by Roger, Hugh, William and others.
Early History of the Bryghten family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bryghten research.Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1328 and 1341 are included under the topic Early Bryghten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bryghten Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Brighton, Bryton, Bryghton, Brighten, Bryten, Bryghten and many more.
Early Notables of the Bryghten family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bryghten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bryghten family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Bryghten or a variant listed above were: Henry Brighton, a child immigrant to Virginia in 1626; Thomas Brighton, who arrived in New England
in 1635; Daniel Brighton, who came to Virginia in 1743.