This interesting surname of English origin is either a topographical name for someone who lived by a piece of ground that had been cleared by fire, deriving from the middle English "brent" "burnt", or a locational name from one of the places in Devon and Somerset so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "brant" meaning "steep" or from the early British (the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons) "brant" "hill" or "high place". Finally it can be a byname or a nickname for a criminal who had been branded. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Robert de Brente (1269) "Assize Rolls of Somerset" and Thomas de Brente (1273) "The Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Brand, Brind, etc.. Magdalin Brunt married John Williamson at St. Dunstan, London on September 26th 1580, and Susan, daughter of Robert Brunt, was christened at St. John Hackney, London in August 1608. One Edward Burnt emigrated to Barbados in January 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Fulco de Brent, which was dated 1216 - History of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.