This long-established surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form of the Hebrew male given name "Avraham", originally "Abram", "high father", later changed to "Abraham", "father of a multitude (of nations)". This name was borne by the first of the Jewish patriarchs, ancestor of all the Israelites (Genesis 11-25), and Abraham was the name of a priest in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1170, one Abraham de Stradtuna was noted in the Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire. This personal name was used to some extent among Christians in the Middle Ages, and has always been a popular Jewish given name. It was greatly revived after the Reformation, and was particularly popular in the Low Countries where it reverted to its original form of Abram, which is still used there, as it is in Wales. The first bearer of the extended form of the surname was John Abraham (Northamptonshire, 1193), and in 1273, one John Abraam was noted in the Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire. Modern patronymic forms include: Abrahams, Abrams, Abrahamson and Abramson. On November 5th 1646, Sarah, daughter of Andrew and Gillian Abrams, was christened at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, London. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a shield lozengy gold and red, on a black chief the sun in his splendour, gold, the Crest being a cap of maintenance decorated with a plume of ostrich feathers, all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Abram, which was dated 1252, in the "Chartulary of the Monastery of Ramsey", Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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