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 A surname is a name borne hereditarily by all members of a family in male-line descent. In Anglo~Saxon times people had personal names only, even when they were known by an additional 'to-name' (e.g. Edmund Ironsides).

Hereditary surnames were first introduced into England by some of the leading followers of the Conqueror, and most were derived from the place-names of their estates, either in France or England. The custom began in the late 12th century and spread slowly with the South of England leading the way. By 1400 three- quarters of the population are reckoned to have borne hereditary family names and the process was complete by 1450. Surnames had five main origins : place names, location of abode, occupations, nicknames and patronymics (derived from the personal name or occupation of a person's father, or more rarely mother or relative e.g. Smithson, Fitzwalter).














BRUSH, Broom, undergrowth, heather[ Adam del Bruche, -Erch. R.]

cf. Rr. Delabrousse, etc. Hence also RRUSHETT

"Brusshe,.7he to make brushes on, bruyere, More often -,head is reduced to -ett

This reduction to -ett also takes place when the -,head is local.


Aegent on a chevron guies between three trefoils vert the two

in chief pointing to the chevron an inesutcheon azure on

a chief or an eagle displayed sable.


A dragon or wings open.

This French surname of BRUSHETT was a Vocational name meaning 'the dweller in or near brushwood' one who comes from Brosse, the name of several small places in France. It was also occasionally used as an occupational name for one who made and sold brushes, forester or wood cutter, or for one who used a small wagon with two wheels. The earliest mention of the surname BRUSH is Richard BRUSSIHE, recorded at Reading in 1493. It is now found mainly in West England (Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire) as well as in London.

The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the twelfth century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England. The name is also spelt, BROSSE, BROSH, BROSCH, BROSE, BROSIUS, BR0SIUS. A notable member of this name was Salornon de BROSSE (1565 - 1626), the French Architect to Marie d'Mediel. He designed the Luxembourg Palace in Paris (1605 - 1620), and Louis XIII's hunting lodge (1624 - 1626) the nucleus of Versailles.

English Dialect Dictionary - Oxford University Press 1961

BRUSHET, Shropshire, Somerset. - A thicket, a cluster of brush.

  • W. Somerset - quote;"You never can't make no hard o' stoppin o'gaps nif you ant a-got some good burshety thorns to do it away."

    A quick set hedge when grown thickly is said to be buursh¨tee. In stopping gaps in hedges it is a good hedger's part to make the thorns stand out buursh¨tee - i.e. bristling.

  • [ In Pat ilke Brusschet, Sir Ferumbas (c.1a30)800) ]

    BROADFIELD c1886

    The surname probably signifies a person residing in or near a broad field.

    In 1085 BROADFIELD was mentioned in the Domesday Book: "Radulphus de Todeni tenet Bradfelde". The Todeni estates were later distributed to heiresses. Henry 111 deprived William de Bradfelde of these lands for backing the King's rival, Simon de Montfort, who was slain at the battle of Evesham in 1266.

    When Henry died six years later the land reverted to John de Broadfield, who later bought more land in the parish of Bodenham, Herefordshire to add to his estate. Before the end of the 14th century the lands became the property of Dinmore Preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

    After the forfeiture of monastic lands by Henry Vlll, Broadfield changed hands and the house has since been the subject of alterations by the succeeding occupants. This could be seen in the seven gables facing south: one 14th, two 15th, three 19th and one 20th century, representing over six hundred years of habitation. The Edwardian gable was however demolished in 1968 to make the house more manageable.

    The house referred to is known as Broadficid Court, Bodenham, Herefordshire. It is situated just off the A417 at Bodenham and is now known for producing English @,.Anes and its Old English Gardens.


    PEARCE c1854

    -Peter, Petre as a surname, though found in 1195, Ralph -Peter, is fare, from the learned form of the christian name Petrus. The frequency of Peters is due to ita late adoption by the Welsh. The popular form was Per, Peres, Piers as in -Piers Plowman and Perkin Warbek, and this appears in 16 different spellings in such surnames as Pierce, Pearce Perris, Perse, etc., and in the diminutives Parkin, Parrott, Perott, Porrett, Perell, Perrin Pirett and Picard

    1198 - Cilbert Perse, Pipe Rolls London

    1292 - Peris le Ceynturer, Peres le Cordener, Subsidy Rolls London

    1237 - Geoffrey Peres, Piers, Essex

    1275 - Richard Peris, Subsidy Rolls Worcester

    1332 - Adam Pieris, Subsidy Rolls Warwickshire

    1444 - William Peers, Gloucestershire


    WHITE c.1865 

    White, Whitt, Whyte, WittWitte,Witts

    1066 - Whita, Domesday Book, Suffolk

    1198 - Wit Filius Willelmi, Feet Fines, Norfolk

    1038, 1066 - Purcil Hwita, Wite,Wita, Hereford

    c1070ib - Ordgar se Wite, Somerset

    1066 - Alestanus Hwit, Winton, Hampshire

    1066, 1086 - Alwin Wit, Domesday Book, Hampshire

    1097-1107 - Uuiaett Hwite, Black

    c1114 - Lewinus Wite, Burton, Suffolk

    1190 - Hugo Wit, BuryS, Suffolk

    1279 - Ralf de Wyte, Assizes Somerset

    1327 - Johnle Whytt, Subsidy Rolls, Somerset

    1327 - William Le Wytt, Subsidy Rolls, 'York

    The surname was originally a nickname for a person with white hair or a pale face, complexion. Occasionally this is from Old English Hwit, but is more often a nickname from Old English Hwit 'white'. A well established name before the conquest and very common thereafter. It could also refer to a dweller by a river as in; 1296 John att Wyte (Huntingdonshire). A version of Wight. White also appears to be a development of 'wait', coming from White (Devon), as in the home of Adam at Wayte in 1330. This is explained in Place Names of Devonshire as 'ambush', 'place where one lies in wait'. It is more likely to denote 'a place where one watches', 'a look-out post', coming from wait.

    RODEN c.1810

    Celtic name for a river, probably meaning 'swift river'.

    The use of river-names as settlement-names, sometimes with a suffix which was felt to adapt the river-name with its new function, as in Rutunium (near Whitchurch Shropshire, from the river Roden, sometimes without modification. There is also the hamlet of Roden in Shropshire north of Shrewsbury on the road to Newport. In 1242 known as Rodene.

    Burkes, London - 1852 - 1853 (peerage) records a Roden of Vere, Isle of Jamaica.


    BOTWOOD c1780

    The origin of this is not yet known but possibly comes from someone residing at or near the bottom of a wood. OR more probably a miss-spelling of another name.

    ELLIS c1780

    Elliss, Ellice, Elles, Elis, Elys, Heelis, Helis, Hellis, Elias

    c1150 - Helias scriptor, Lincolnshire

    c1160ib - Elyas de Westone

    c1175ib - Heliscus de Brunne, Helyae, Elyas de Brunna Hy

    1200 - Wilham Elyas, Pipe Rolls, York

    1202 - William Elis, Pipe Rolls, Lincolnshire

    1212 - Willelmus filius Hells, Curia Rolls, Somerset

    1220 - Elis de Adham, Curia Rolls, Middlesex

    1224 - Elice de Cheindue, AssizeE; Staffordshire

    1309 - Roger Elys, Helys (Hornehurch Priory documents) Essex

    1309 - Andrew Elice, Subsidy Rolls, Bedfordshire

    Elis, Elias the Creek form of the Hebrew Elijah, John Elys was the son of Elias de Bampton (1318,1331 Husting). Elias is not common as a surname. Another version is also Ely. Ellice may also be a pet name for Elizabeth (1319 Subsidy Rolls, London).