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Brignall Coat of Arms / Brignall Family Crest

Brignall Coat of Arms / Brignall Family Crest

The surname of BRIGNALL was a locational name 'of Brignall' a village in the North Riding of Yorkshire near Greta Bridge. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Early records of the name mention Thomas de Briggenale, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. George Ogleby and Hester Brignell were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1664. Baptised. Thomas, son of Nicolas Bricnell at the same church in 1675. Richard Heard and Winifred Bricknall were married there in the year 1774. The name is also spelt as Bricknall, Brickill, and Bricknell. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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