This ancient and unusual surname has nothing whatsoever to do with its appearance. It is Olde English pre 7th century in origin, and derives from the word 'braedu', which describes a wide expanse of land, as in the place name 'Brede' in Sussex. Its precise meaning was probably an agricultural term for an area of good grazing, and all the original recordings come from such areas. The surname is found in a number of spellings including Brede, Breed, Bread, Breede and Breedes, whilst the form as Breeder originates in the Kent - Sussex region and describes one who came from Brede (the place). Early recordings include William de Bredes and John de Brede in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, Elena atte Brede in the 1317 Assize Rolls of Kent, and Marjery Brede of Colchester, Essex, in 1352. Later examples include Nathaniel Bread, at St Leonards Church, Eastcheap, London, on March 3rd 1604, Rose Breede at St Giles Cripplegate, London, on November 23rd 1589, and Thomas Breed who married Sussannah Hunt at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on December 10th 1693. The coat of arms has the blazon of a red field charged with a lion rampant, a border in green, with a semee of gold escallops. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Brian de Brede, which was dated 1195, in the 'Feet of Fines' roll of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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.