It is generally accepted that this is a dialectually transposed locational name deriving from a place in Kent now called Elham but spelt Alham in the Domesday Book of 1086 and Aelham in Domesday Monachorum. The spelling Elham first appears in 1182, 'Index to the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum'. The name is believed to derive from the Olde English pre 7th century 'ealh' meaning 'a pagan temple', plus 'ham', a meadow or piece of enclosed land, and is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th century. The name is well recorded in Surrey Church Registers from the mid 17th century on. On November 28th 1644, one Margery Allam married a Robert Burges in St. Olave, Southwark, and an Antoney Allam was christened in Kingston upon Thames (October 1673). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Ellham. which was dated 1273 The Hundred Rolls of Kent. during the reign of King Edward I 'The Hammer of the Scots' 1272-1307 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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