英文姓氏辞典

English Surname Dictionary

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Bresnahan

Recorded in many spelling forms including Breslau, Breslauer, Breslow, Brezlaw, Bresler, Brzna, Bresnahan, Breznovic, Brezinavitch, and many others, this is arguably a surname of Polish origins. It is widely recorded in its different spellings throughout Eastern Europe, the only common denominator being the prefix "Bres or Brez". In which ever way it is spelt, the surname is locational, and almost certainly originates from the city of Wroclaw in Poland. The surname in its various spellings, may not seem to have much in common with Wroclaw, however this is a case of the city name itself undergoing almost as many changes and additions as the surname. It seems that Wroclaw was in part of Poland originally German, and at that time before the 16th century it was known as Breslau. Herediary surnames in Eastern Europe were generally formed in the 14th and 15th centuries, and were "from" names. This is to say that they were given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere as identification. Spelling at the time being problematical and dialects very thick, it becomes easier to see how the surname spellings achived their various forms. The ancient charters indicate that this surname was recorded as early as 1500, but the first known surviving example is that of Johan Matthaus Bresler, from South Tirol, Germany, where in 1624 he is recorded as being a local chronicler or historian.