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 fom 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. In the modern idiom the surname can be found spelt as Allam, Allum and Ellham.The surname is well recorded in Surrey Church Registers from the mid 16th Century onwards. On November 28th 1644, Margery Allam married a Robert Burges in St. Olave, Southwark and an Olave Allum was christened at St. Giles, Cripplegate in 1699. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Ellham, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Kent, during the reign of King Edward l, known as "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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