Recorded as Bratton and sometimes Brattan or Bratten, this is an English surname. It is locational from any of the various places called Bratton in southern and western England. These include Bratton in Shropshire and Bratton Seymour, a parish and village near Wincanton in Somerset, recorded respectively as "Brochetone" and "Broctune" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Both these villages share the same meaning an derivation, that is, the Olde English pre 7th century "broc", a water-meadow, and "tun", enclosure, settlement; hence, "settlement on the brook". Seymour is the French family name from Saint Maur in France.Locational surnames are usually names given either to the local lord of the manor and his descendants or to former citizens of a particuolar place who moved somewhere else. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent and local accents very thick, often as with this surname, lead to the creation of "sounds like" variant spellings. Early recordings include John de Bratton of Somerset in the subsidy tax rolls of 1327, whilst the first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey de Bratton. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.