"The name "Broadfoot" dates back to at least 800 AD, to the Gaelic Celts,
before the invasion by the Norse Vikings (and so we have Scandinavian
blood as well). The Broadfoot family in Scotland was never a true
Scottish “Clan”, and never even a sept of a Clan. The name is found in
England also. The name originally was "Bradfute" and later
"Braidfoot", means (in Scottish) "the foot of a river or plain" or "foot
of hill place,." King William's English census of 1066 shows five
Bradfoot families holding land in Yorkshire. The name "Turgis Bradfot"
appears in 1157 in the Scottish Pipe Rolls of Cumberland, and Roger
Bradfot in 1247 in the Assizes Rolls of Bedfordshire. By 1296, the name
appears as "Bradfute", and, by 1379, the names "Bradfotte",
"Brodefotte", and "Braydfot" were found in northern England. A fuller
description of the origin of the Broadfeet may be found in a book
prepared by Rev. James R. Broadfoot for the 1984 Broadfoot Clan Reunion
in Seaforth, Ontario.
“Bradfute, Braidfoot, Broadfoot. Evidently of local
origin from some lost place name formerly either in Ayrshire or
Dumfriesshire. The opposite is Braidhead (Dumfriesshire). The name is
almost identical in meaning with the Gaelic place name Bondriech, "foot
of hill place". Marian Bradfute was the wife of Sir William Wallace.
Robert Braidfute was the vicar of Dunnyn, 1491. William Bredfut was
minister of Falkland, 1593. James Braidfoot was a merchant in Edinburgh
in 1611. James Bredfoot was retoured heir in lands in parish of Dunss
in 1678. The surname is common in Lanark Commissariot Record. There
was an old Cumberland family of Braidfoot. There are records of a
Bradfut in 1573, Bradfutt in 1566, Breadfoot in 1639; also Braidfutt,
Breadfotte, Bredfute, and Breydfut.”
The Emperor Charlemagne was the son of Pepin "The Short", King of
France, and his wife Bertha Broadfoot of Laon, France, originally from
Scotland. Charlemagne's wife was Hildegard, the Schwabian Princess of
Vinzgua. One of their children was Louis I, King of France.
The beautiful Marian Bradfute, daughter of Sir Hugo Brodfute, the
Earl of Lamington in 1296, was the wife of Sir William Wallace, son of
Malcolm Wallace, the Scottish commoner, hero, and great liberator of
Scotland in 1297 (and the hero of the recent movie "Braveheart"). They
were secretly married, probably when she was about fourteen years of
age, the age of adulthood in Scotland in those times. King Edward
Longshanks did not tolerate marriages outside of the Church of England.
Contrary to the fiction of the movie, Marion outlived William and gave
birth to their daughter. In time, she was murdered by the British. Her
daughter lived to adulthood and married into the Baillie Clan, and the
lands of Lamington were turned over to the Baileys. That story is
detailed in Rev. James Broadfoot's reunion book, pp 9-10. By the way,
in 1314, Scotland did win its freedom from England.
In England, the name became Bradford; in Scotland it became
Broadfoot. In 1638, an Agnes Broadfoot lived in Glengarne,
The modern Broadfoot name is clearly Scottish. Our Broadfoots,
only one of many Bradfute families, originated in the Dumfrieshire
lowlands region of southwestern Scotland. (In 1259, it was called
“Dunfres”, named after the fort on the hill. A hundred years later, it
was granted a charter as a city.) The Royal Burgh of Dumfries is the
seat of the Nithsdale district of Dumfries, which lies near the border
of England on the River Nith, 8 miles from the Solway Firth, an Irish
Sea inlet. Robert Burns, the Scottish national poet, lived there from
1791 until his death in 1796.
Bradfute is a rather common name in Scotland, and has been for
quite some time, as well as its derivatives Broadfoot, Braidfoot, and
Bradfoot. Did we all descend from the same one way back when?
Probably, although the name may have been assigned to a family that
lived at the foot of the "broad", and there may have been several or
even many families with such a designation. Imagine: "Robert at the
foot of the broad", since back in the middle ages they didn't have or
use last names.
It should be noted that Dumfries was the birthplace of bicycling.
The bicycle was invented and the first one built by a Dumfries
blacksmith in 1839. "
"Hands Across the Sea -- 1834-1984 -- Hands Across the Borders", by
Rev. James R. Broadfoot, 1984. This book was written by Rev. Broadfoot
in preparation for the 1984 Broadfoot family reunion in Seaforth,
Ontario, Canada, and was published privately. It is not available
commercially. [Information source: Bill Brobst [Brobst-Hager@embarqmail.com]