This interesting surname originated as a title of office from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ealdormann", elder (man), a title initially given to a village headman, and later, in the Middle Ages to the governor of a guild. In Anglo-Saxon England an alderman was a person of high esteem; appointed by the King to administer justice in a shire, and to lead the local militia into battle. The personal form was used sometimes as in Ardermann de Bretford, Sussex 1273. Variations of the name are recorded as follows: Jukel Alderman, Sheriff of London, 1194 (Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London); Robert Le Alderman, Norfolk, 1273; and Benjamin Aldermannus, Sussex, 1273. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Agnes Alderman and Richard Barnes at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on November 28th 1580. An early namebearer to settle in the New World Colonies was Grace Alderman, aged 22 yrs., who embarked from London on the ship "Paule" bound for Virginia in July 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Le Alderman, which was dated 1175, in the "Pipe Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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