Last name: Workman

This interesting name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "weorc" meaning "work", plus "mann", a man, and was a medieval job descriptive term for a skilled worker or artisan. The following quotation from "Promptorium Parvulorum" (Medieval Dictionary) reads "Werkemanne, thay an werk wyth both handys a lyke, - Ambidexter", suggesting that the term may originally have been applied as a nickname to an ambidextrous person. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). The forms le Werkman and le Worcman appear in 1236 and 1273 respectively. In 1307, one Nicholas Workman is recorded in the Close Rolls of Oxfordshire. On October 23rd 1624, the marriage of Margaret Workman and Robert Matthews was entered in the Register of Bath Abbey Somerset. One Alice Workeman married Francis Jackson at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney, on August 1st 1627, while Daniel Workeman, son of John and Martha Workeman, was christened on October 8th 1650, at St. Botolph without Aldergate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adwordus Wercman, which was dated 1214, in the "Cartulary of the Priory of St. Gregory, Kent", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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