This surname BRIMS was of the locational group of names derived from Braham, a small spot in the West Riding of Yorkshire. There is also Braham Farm in Cambridge, and Brantham in Sussex, from whence the name may have been taken. The name was anciently spelt BRAMHAMM, and literally meant one who lived by the Broom-covered hill. During the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named from the village where he lived, or from the land that he owned. This name would identify his whole family and followed them wherever they moved. The earliest of the name on record appears to be BRAM (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. BRAHAM (without surname) appears in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1242. Eustace de Braham was recorded in 1189 in County Essex, and Mathew de Brameham appears in County Yorkshire in 1219. Roger de Breem appears in County Suffolk in 1273, and Roger de Bream in London in 1280. Agnes de Brame of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A notable member of the name was John Braham (1774-1856) the English tenor, born in London. He had his first great success at Drury Lane in 1796, and for half a century held the reputation of being one of the world's greatest tenors. He squandered a fortune by purchasing the Colosseum in Regent's Park and building the St. Jame's Theatre. John Gray and Hannah Braham were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1805. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. 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.
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