This interesting name does not mean anything to do with 'Britain' as in the British Isles of modern idiom, rather it is a national or ethnic name for someone from Brittany, France, a 'Breton'. In the 6th Century the Celtic speaking Bretons were driven to South West England (indeed the name Britton is frequently found around Bristol) by Anglo-Saxon invaders, and many Bretons came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. The name can be spelt in several different ways in the modern idiom, ranging from, Britain, Britten, Brittan, Brittin and Brittain to Briton and Britney. The surname has long been established in Staffordshire; William Bryttayne married Elizabeth Cook in Betley, on November 28th 1559, and John Brittain was christened in 1589, also in Betley. In London, the christening of Edward Brittain was recorded on November 17th 1630 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Bretagne (witness), which was dated 1291 in the Assize Rolls, Staffordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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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  • Briton — Brit on, a. [AS. bryten Britain.] British. [Obs.] Spenser. n. A native of Great Britain. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Briton — can refer to: * Britons (historical), ancient people from the island of Great Britain * British people, people of British ethnicity; originating from Britain; or citizens of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands; or of one of… …   Wikipedia

  • Briton — Anglo Fr. Bretun, from L. Brittonem (nom. Britto, misspelled Brito in MSS) a member of the tribe of the Britons, from *Britt os, the Celtic name of the Celtic inhabitants of Britain and southern Scotland before the 5c. Anglo Saxon invasion drove… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Briton — ► NOUN 1) a British person. 2) a native of southern Britain before and during Roman times. ORIGIN Old French Breton, from Latin Britto or Celtic …   English terms dictionary

  • Briton — [brit′ n] n. [ME < OFr Breton < L Brito, Britto; of Celt orig.: see BRITISH] 1. a member of an early Celtic people living in S Britain at the time of the Roman invasion 2. a person born or living in Great Britain, esp. in England …   English World dictionary

  • Briton — Brit|on [ˈbrıtn] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: Breton ancient Briton , from Latin Brito, from a Celtic language] formal someone from Britain ▪ the ancient Britons ▪ the first Briton to win the championship for twenty years …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Briton — [[t]brɪ̱t(ə)n[/t]] Britons N COUNT A Briton is a British citizen, or a person of British origin. [FORMAL] The role is played by seventeen year old Briton Jane March …   English dictionary

  • Briton — UK [ˈbrɪt(ə)n] / US noun [countable] Word forms Briton : singular Briton plural Britons mainly journalism someone from the UK. The usual way of talking about someone from the UK is to say that he or she is British …   English dictionary

  • Briton — /brit n/, n. 1. a native or inhabitant of Great Britain, esp. of England. 2. one of the Celtic people formerly occupying the southern part of the island of Britain. [1250 1300; < ML Briton (s. of Brito); r. ME Breton < OF < LL Brittones Britons]… …   Universalium

  • Briton — noun Etymology: Middle English Breton, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin Britton , Britto, of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh Brython Date: 13th century 1. a member of one of the peoples inhabiting Britain prior to the Anglo… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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