This is an English locational name, from the minor place names in Bradfield and Agbrigg, West Yorkshire. The place name derives from the Middle Englsih "brikes" the genitive form of "broke" meaning "brook" and "bank", bank. As a surname this would serve to denote someone who lived at or near the banks of the brook. Locational surnames were often given both to those who lived at that place and to those who left their original home to live or work in another town or village. In 1779, Christopher Smirthwaite and Elizabeth Brooksbank were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brokesbank. which was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. during the reign of King Richard 11, known as Richard of Bordeaux, 1377 - 1399. 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.