- This habitional name seems to be quite conventional, but research showed this to be far from so. The derivation is from the Old English (or possibly Norse-Viking) "Brand", normally a personal name of ancient origins, plus the topographical "dun", meaning a hill. This probably refers to Brandon in Lincolnshire, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Brandune". The surname in the modern spelling has developed from Brandum. The "links" are as follows - on December 25th 1631, Edward Brandum, the son of Richard and Mary Brandum was christened at Sturton Cum Fenton, Nottinghamshire. In 1634, as shown below, the surname changed to Brandham, only to change again to Brandam, also at Sturton on June 26th 1636. However the spelling as Brandham obviously survived John Brandham being recorded at Lowdham (Nottinghamshire) in 1824. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Brandham of Sturton Cum Fenton, which was dated May 11th 1634, a witness at the christening of his son (also) Richard, during the reign of King Charles 1, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.