This interesting name is first recorded in Devon in the 12th Century, being an "import" from France. The origination is from the village of Baalon in the Meuse Valley, the letter "n" being transposed by dialect to "M" - a common feature of the conjoined language of the post Norman Conquest period. The surname has passed through many changes Rosa Balam being recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Worcester in 1275, whilst Roger Balam was christened at the Church of St. Lawrence Pountney, London, on January 28th 1554. There was a reversion to the (near) original spelling when Henry Balaam was a witness at the Church of Saint-Mary Woolnoth, London on February 23rd 1617, in the reign of King James 1 (1603 - 1625). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hamelinus de Baalon, which was dated 1176, in the Devon County Pipe Roll Records, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as the Church Builder, 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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