The Norman Invaders of 1066 totally changed the whole structure of England, including "names". They introduced the concept of surnames and at first these were wholly French both in appearance and pronunciation. However in most cases as the name became absorbed into the English language it underwent transposition to suit the English dialect. This is certainly the case with Balchin which was originally Belchamp (see below) from a place so called in La Manche, Normandy, and translating as "beautiful place", before splitting into Beauchamp or Beachan or to Belsham and ultimately Balchin, Balchen and Ballchin. Examples of the early church recordings include Elisha Belshall christened at St. Botolphs Church, Bishopgate on 29th July 1666, and Annesloe Balchin, the daughter of John and Susan Balchin, christened at St. Pauls Church, Covent Garden on March 6th 1699. The Coat of Arms granted in 1730 is Green, a crescent between eight estoiles in orle, all gold, suggesting victory over the Turkish infidels. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Belchamp, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book for Hertfordshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1082. 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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