Bryghton is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Bryghton family 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 Bryghton family
The surname Bryghton 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 Bryghton family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bryghton research.Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1328 and 1341 are included under the topic Early Bryghton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bryghton Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Brighton, Bryton, Bryghton, Brighten, Bryten, Bryghten and many more.
Early Notables of the Bryghton family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bryghton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bryghton family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Bryghton or a variant listed above: 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.