This interesting surname is of English locational origin from some minor place, probably in Yorkshire, where the name is most common. The placename is derived from either the old Norse "broethr" meaning of the brother, or the old English pre 7th Century "brethra" of the brothers and the old English "wic" a village or outlying farm; hence "the outlying farm of the brother(s)". The surname was first recorded in the early 17th Century (see below). Other early recordings of the surname from the church register for Yorkshire include; Margrit, daughter of Thomas Bretherick, who was christened on January 24th 1621, at St. Peters, Leeds; on November 18th 1631, William son of Thomas Bretherick was christened in the same place; on April 7th 1669, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Bretherick, was christened at Armley; and the marriage of Sarah Bretherick to Walter Farra, took place on September 10th 1672, again at St. Peters, Leeds. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Bretherick, witness at a christening, which was dated July 25th 1615, St. Peters, Leeds, Yorkshire, during the reign of King James 1, of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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.