This most interesting and unusual surname is a Dutch patronymic of the surname "Brand", which itself is of German origin from the Germanic personal name "Brando", a short form of compound personal names containing the element "brend", sword, of which the best known is "Hildebrand", plus "-sen", son of. "Brand" itself may also have derived from the Old Norse personal name "Brandr" which gave rise to the Olde English "Brant(a)" and the Old Norman-French "Brand". Other surnames from this source include Braud (Devon), Brant (West Midlands), Brandt (Germany), Brando (Italy) and Brandsen (Netherlands). Early examples of the surname include: the christening of Aartje Brantze on January 23rd 1701 at Ermelo, Gelderland, Netherlands; the christening of Daniel Brantzen at Wageningen, Gelderland, on October 9th 1701; the marriage of Hendrick Brantzen and Geertje Maasen on January 22nd 1702 at Voorthuijzen; and the christening of Arij Brantzen on April 2nd 1721 at Delfshaven, Zuid Holland. A Coat of Arms depicting three black faggots (bundles of wood) in chief and three gold fleur-de-lis on a silver shield was granted to a Brantsen family at Arnhem in 1828. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jan Brantsen, which was dated March 22nd 1691, marriage to Annitjen Gerrits, at Voorthuijzen, Gelderland, Netherlands, during the reign of King William, "William of Orange", 1660 - 1702. 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.