This surname BRYANT was a baptismal name 'the son of Bryan'. The name was brought to England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The name lingered in North Yorkshire and Westmorland as a font name until the close of the last century. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday Book. The name is also spelt BRIAN, BRIEN, BRIANT, BRYANS and BRIEND, to name but a few. Early records of the name mention Radulphus filus Brien, listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086 and Bennett Brien, 1166 County Norfolk. Briendeus de Scal was documented in London in 1114, and Ralph Brien appears in Yorkshire in 1207. Benet Bryan was recorded in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Edward Bryant appears in County Lancashire in 1400. Later instances of the name include John Briand who married Barbara Backhouse at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1772. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The American poet William Cullen BRYANT (1794-1887) came of a New England family, being descended from Stephen Bryant, who had settled in Plymouth Colony in the year 1632. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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