- Recorded in several forms including Bream, Breem, Brim, Brims, Brimm and probably others, this is an early English medieval surname. It is however of much earlier origins, probably pre 6th century, and deriving from the word "breme" meaning fierce or vigorous, or under certain circumstrances famous or noble. It is one of originally a large group of names were based upon the virtues of personal strength and power, at a time in history known as "The Dark Ages" when it was certainly needed. After the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, former Saxon names such as this one, were given the boot as not being politically correct, and those that survived took another hammering in the 12th century, when the returning Crusader knights and pilgrims from the Holy Land brought back biblical and Geek names and scattered them amongst their children. These, the Mathew, mark Luke and John syndrome, rapidly gained control of the "name" market. This (sur)name however managed to survive, probably because the early recordings suggest that nameholders were in East Anglia. Until the 15th century this was a region of swamps and marshes, which most people, including the Normans, tried to keep away from. As examples of recordings we have Breme of Suffolk in the Domesday Book of 1086, whilst Hugo Brem appears in the court rolls of Warwick in 1221, and Simon Brim in the Hundred Rolls of land owners of Cambridgeshire in 1279
Surnames reference. 2013.