This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a contracted form of the locational name Broadwell from places so called in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, and Warwickshire, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "brad" meaning broad, plus "wella", well. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birth place to seek work further afield, the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Brodwell and Broudle. Church Records list the christenings of Willi, son of Francis Brodle, on the 23rd February 1667 in Ruardean, Gloucestershire, and of Mary Broddle, on the 20th September 1817 at St. Pancras, Old Church, London. George James, son of James and Rose Broudle was christened on the 12th August 1821 at Great Stanmore, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is ermine, on a red chief a gold lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brodle, which was dated 28th December 1589, witness to the christening of his daughter Susana, at St. Mary, Somerset, London. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558-1603. 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.