This interesting name of medieval English origin is a Midlands dialectal variant of the name Bartholomew, itself a patronymic, "the son of Talmay" or "bar - Thalmay", a Medieval personal name meaning "having many furrows" i.e. "rich in land". As a forename Bartholomew became very popular in Christian Europe, because of the name bearer, St. Bartholomew, patron of vintners and butlers. The name is first recorded as Bartholomeus in the Social and Economic History Documents of London, (12th Century). The surname is first recorded in the 13th Century, as Bartelmeu, Bartolomeus and present day spelling Bartholomew. Amongst the recorded examples in Staffordshire are one Bartholomew Bartlam, the infant son of Thomas and Margaret Bartlam, who was christened at Mucklestone on December 17th 1693. Also christened at Mucklestone was one, Katharine Bartlam, the infant daughter of Ellis and Francis Bartlam on November 8th 1656. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Bartelmeu, which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire, 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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