Bretton Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Bretton Name
Origins of Bretton:
This interesting surname, of Old French origin, acquires from the Old French “Bret”, nominative of “Breton”, which means a Breton, from the Latin “Britto”, compared to the Old Celtic “Britto”, and was originally given as an ethnic name to a person from Brittany. The Bretons were early Celtic-speakers, and residents of South West England, known as Britons, who in the 6th Century were largely dismissed by Anglo-Saxon attackers and driven away as foreigners to North West France. Five centuries later, some of the Bretons re-entered England as part of William the Conqueror’s invading army in 1066. One Edward Brit was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Devonshire, and a Walter Bret shows in the 1164 Staffordshire Chartulary. The difference between “i” and “e” points to the Olde English “Brit, Bret”, which meant a Briton, and was used to show a representative of one of the Celtic-speaking peoples of Strathclyde until the year 1300. Ranulph Brito or Le Breton (died 1246) was the command of St. Paul’s, and receiver to the king. The surname was noted in English Parish Records under the various spelling forms like Brittoy, Brittaux, Bretta and Brytoe. Salomon Brittaux named at the French Huguenot Parish, Threadneedle Street, London, in May 1660, and in December 1687, the wedding of Rachel Britto to John Powell took place at St. James’, Duke’s Place, also in London.
More common variations are: Baretton, Brettoni, Breitton, Brettone, Beretton, Brietton, Breton, Brtton, Berettoni, Barettoni.
The origins of the surname Bretton appeared in Brittany, where people held a family seat from old times. Someone say better before the invasion of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings 1066 A.D.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Tihellus Brito, dated about 1086, in the “Domesday Books of Essex.” It was during the time of King William I, who was known to be “William the Conqueror,” dated 1066-1087. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Bretton had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Bretton landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Bretton who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included William Bretton, who landed in Maryland in 1637. Temperance Bretton, who came to Maryland in 1649. Seayone Bretton, who arrived in Maryland in 1654. George Bretton, who landed in Maryland in 1657. Stephen Bretton, who landed in Maryland in 1661
The following century saw more Bretton surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Bretton who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Joseph Bretton, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) Division, Pennsylvania in 1828.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Bretton: United States 365; France 318; England 204; Switzerland 99; Peru 57; Belgium 37; Australia 35; Canada 32; New Zealand 7; Montserrat 6.
Bretton Byrd (1904–1959) was a British writer and composer known for his work on film scores between 1932 and 1956. He worked for British Gaumont, then the largest British production company, in the 1930s.
Bretton Cameron (born 1989), is a Canadian ice hockey player.
Raphaël Bretton (February 1920–February 2011) was a French set decorator. He won an Academy Award and was selected for three more in the category Best Art Direction.
William Frederick Bretton (May 1909-November 1971) was the Minister of Nelson from 1957 until 1970. He got an education at Downing College, Cambridge and was appointed in 1935. His first posts were curacies in Watford and Sparkhill. He was Minister of St Cuthbert Birmingham from 1939 to 1942, and then St John the Evangelist, Sandown. In New Zealand, he held incumbencies in Johnsonville and Lower Hutt before his job as Minister.
Bretton Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Bretton blazon are the fesse dancettee and boar. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and gules.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 1Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful.
In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67