This uncommon and interesting name recorded in the spellings of Boam, Baum, Bamb, Bim, Bims, Bomb, Boom, and Bum, is generally of 13th century English origin. As such it is a metonymic occupational surname for a seller of spices or perfumes and ointments. The name derives from the word "balme", an aromatic substance prized for its medicinal qualities. Balme derives from the Latin "balsamun", the use of such medicines being possibly a Roman introduction to England. The surname Balmer may derive from the same source, this being occupational for one employed as an embalmer. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and gradually became hereditary. The development of the name has included the following variant forms: Baume in Yorkshire in 1543, Bomb in 1562 Somerset, Bome in Devonshire in 1569, Balme in Derbyshire in 1574, Boame in Nottinghamshire in 1584, and Boome in London in 1605. The spelling as Boom may have a Huguenot ancestry and be a devlopment of the German-Flanders 'Bohm', meaning a former inhabitant of Bohemia. This spelling is found in London in 1799. Among the recordings of the name are the marriage of William Boam and Margaret Batkyne, at Stowe in Staffordshire, on May 22nd 1611, and the marriage of Jeames Boomes to Elizabeth Webb at St Boltolph without Aldgate, London, on July 17th 1589. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johanne Bawne, which was dated November 20th 1538, christened at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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