This name BRIGGE is found chiefly in West Yorkshire. A family of gentry so called have held lands at Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, continuously for 500 years. The name BRIGGS was originally derived from the Old English word 'brigge' the dweller or worker by the bridge. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. William Brigges was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, in County Essex. 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. Other records of the name mention Hugh atte Brugge, 1273 County Oxford. Juliana del Bryg was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Simon atte-brygg, rector of South Pickenham, County Norfolk in 1395. William Cripps married Juliana Briggs, London in the year of 1615. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired.
Building and maintaining bridges was one of the three main feudal obligations, along with bearing arms and maintaining all the fortifications. The cost of building a bridge was often defrayed by charging a toll, the surname thus being acquired by the toll gatherer. The form Bridge, was most common in Lancashire.
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