The name Bryten arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Bryten 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 Bryten family
The surname Bryten 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 Bryten family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bryten research.Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1328 and 1341 are included under the topic Early Bryten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bryten Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations
characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Brighton, Bryton, Bryghton, Brighten, Bryten, Bryghten and many more.
Early Notables of the Bryten family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bryten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bryten family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England
, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bryten 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.