Last name: Boddam

Recorded in a series of spellings including Boddam, Bodiam, Bodicam, Bodicum and Bodycombe, all rare, this is an English surname. It is locational and either originates from Bodiam in the county of East Sussex, or from the villages of Bodenham in Hereford and Wiltshire, or Bodham in Norfolk, or possibly from some now "lost" medieval place of which the only reminder is the surname itself. All have much the same meaning of either Boda's farm, with Boda being an early personal name, or possibly Monks farm from an Olde English pre 7th century word 'bod' meaning a monk and 'ham' a homestead, or 'cum', a valley. In the famous gazetter of England known as the Domesday Book of 1086, all the places are recorded as Bodeham, and only in the 13th century did their spellings taken on different forms. Locational surnames are nearly always "from" names. That is to say surnames given to people after they left their original homes, the easiest means of identification being to call them by the name of their original home. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case examples of the recordings over the centuries include: John Bodenham in the register of students at Oxford University in 1568, Thomas Bodicam, who was christened at St Brides, Fleet Street, in the city of London, on November 21st 1650, John Bodycombe whose daughter Eliza was christened at St Mary's Lambeth, on March 22nd 1829, and Mary Ann Bodiam, who married John Perrin at St Barnabas, Kennington, Surrey, on November 7th 1854.

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