This interesting surname has two possible origins. The first is a patronymic from the male given name "Brice", i.e. "son of Brice". Brice is a pet form of the Welsh name "Rhys", meaning rashness; an ancient namebearer being King Rhyence of North Wales, whose hobby of collecting the beards of his rivals to trim his cloak proved his undoing when he attempted to complete his collection with King Arthur's. The name may also be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O Briosain", an altered version of "O'Muirgheasain" (Morrissey), meaning "son of Muirgheasain". In Ireland it originated in Ulster, particularly in Counties Donegal and Derry. The 17th Century Hearth Money Rolls for the Northern counties list many people with the name Mrieson and similar variants, later these became known as Morrison, Bryson is the modern form, and is commonly found recorded in the counties mentioned above. Thomas Bryson is registered in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk (1524). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Briceson, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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.