- This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical surname for someone who lived by a piece of land that was newly cultivated, named from the time when it was first ploughed. The derivation of the surname is from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'braec', newly cultivated land, a derivative of 'brecan', to break, and thus 'land broken by the plough'. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since either natural or man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable terms for distinguishing people in the small communities of medieval England. The modern surname can be found as Bracher, Bratcher, Breacher, Brecher and Britcher. On November 24th 1630, Mary Britcher married Robert Davies in Maidstone, Kent, and Francise Britcher married Aristrem Wallis in Saint Peter and Saint Paul's, Milton by Gravesend, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Brechere, which was dated 1245, in the Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216-1272. 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.
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