BRAKE Family History
Recorded in spellings which include Brake, Break, Braik, and the plurals Breaks and Braiks, this interesting name is of Old English pre 7th century origins. It is topographical for someone who lived by a piece of land that was newly cultivated, or perhaps in contradiction, a place which was well established with protective fencing or woods! The derivation in either case is from the word 'braec', a derivative of 'brecan', which means 'to break', and hence prepare the land. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since features in the landscape provided easily recognisable reference points for distinguishing people in the small communities of medieval England.