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BREA Family History

This ancient and distinguished surname, recorded in the spellings of Bray, Braye, Brea, and Bree, and having no less than twenty-one Coats of Arms, and several notable entries in the "National Biography", has four distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, the name may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational name from the villages thus called in East Berkshire or Devonshire. Recorded as "Brai" in the Domesday Book of 1086, the villages were named from the Olde English pre 7th Century "breg", or the Welsh, Cornish "bre", meaning hill.

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