This early surname is of pre 5th century Germanic origins. Recorded in over fifty different spellings including Brand, Brandt, Braund, Brando, Brann, Braun, Bront, and many others, it usually derives from the male given name "Brando". This is itself a short form of a popular compound personal name such as Hildebrand, and originates from "brinnan", meaning a flash, as in a flash of lightning. The name can also be topographical and relate to a person who lived by a "brant". This word described an area of agricultural land, one which was cleared by fire, a common practice in ancient times. In England this word appears in many village names including examples such as Brandeston in the county of Suffolk, and Branston in the county of Leicestershire. These places were recorded prior to the year 1066, the year of the Norman Invasion, and suggest that Brant and Brand as first names, were introduced into the country by the Anglo-Saxons perhaps as early as the year 450 a.d.. Early examples of the surname recordings include Ralph Brand, in the 1184 pipe rolls of the city of London, and in Germany Otho de Brande from Neuburg, in the year 1271.The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is probably that of William Brant, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book for the county of Norfolk, England. This was during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.