This very interesting name, with variant spellings Adlem and Adlum, derives from "Adelelm", later "Alleaume" - French forms of the Old German personal name "Adalhelm", composed of the elements "adal" meaning "noble", plus "helm", a helmet or protection. The name was first introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and is recorded as "Adelelmus" (without surname) in the 1086 Domesday Book for Kent. The surname first appears in the early half of the 12th Century (see below).One Roger Adalem is recorded as a witness in the 1260 Assize Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire, and on July 19th 1621, William Adlam and Dorathie Janeway were married in All Hallows, London Wall, London. The name re-emerges in the French forms Alleaume and Alliaume in late 17th Century London Registers - this time as a Huguenot name. On April 26th 1696, Abraham, son of Salomon and Susanne Aliaume, was christened in the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robertus Adelelmus, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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