Bratcher Name
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The Bratcher name has appeared throughout the history of the United States.  The original spelling is still unknown.  Even within the same document, the name can be spelled Bratcher, Bracher, Bradsher and Bradshaw to refer to a single individual.   Assumptions that it is solely a derivation of the name Bradshaw are yet unproven.   One possibility for the mixed use of names may be the phonetic interpretation of recorders and use of the most commonly used spelling of the name. 

The Bratcher name first appeared in the United States with Augustine Bratcher.  As an indentured servant for Matthew Craddock, he made his way to the new world in 1630 with the Pilgrims.   Augustine's untimely death most likely precludes him as the progenitor of current day Bratcher families, but his travails certainly demonstrate the existence of the Bratcher clan.  

The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames lists Bratcher as an Old English name meaning a dweller at a Breach.  Breach being primarily a Wilts name which denotes an opening, spinney left as a boundary, newly broken/tilled land.  Other sources refer to the meaning of the Bratcher family as one who lives on or neared plowed land.

The "Homes of Family Names in Great Britain" by Henry Brougham Guppy, M.B. (Edin.)  lists the family name Bracher.  Th entry  indicates that "A family of gentry of the name of Bracher have resided at Semley since the middle of last century.  The name has been represented in the parish of Tisbury during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  Edward Bracher of Walmead, gent., died 1754.

As yet, the origin of the Bratcher clan in North America is still unknown.   Clearly, it is a name that has existed for many years.  There are some indications that it has Germanic or Swiss origins.  One day, we will identify the family that carried the name from Europe to North America.  Despite the fact that the origin of the name, those that bear it today can be proud of the fact that the family has been an integral part of the formation of the United States.  Clearly, our ancestors came to the new world many years in advance of the birth of our nation.