This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name from residence by a notable broad oak, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "brad", broad, with "ac", oak. A prominent oak tree was frequently the focal point in medieval settlements, where people gathered to hear readings from the Scriptures at the annual ceremony of the beating of the bounds. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname may also be locational in origin from any of the various minor places, including Broadoak in Cornwall, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, and Broad Oak in Dorset, Kent and Sussex, which presumably grew up around one such tree. Early examples of the surname include: Thomas de Brodok (Staffordshire, 1282) and Thomas Broddock (Essex, 1341). In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Braddock, Braddick, Briddock and Brideoak. On February 26th 1642, Owen, son of Thomas Braddick, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Braddick family of Kent is a gold shield, on a green chevron between in chief, two azure lions' heads erased and in base, a fox courant proper, a stag's head cabossed between two gold wreathes of oak. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Brodhok, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Kent", during the reign of Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.