This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the locational name 'Boscombe', from the place so called in Wiltshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Boscumbe', and in the Wiltshire Close Rolls of 1256 as 'Borrescumb'. The name means 'the valley overgrown with bristles or burrs', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'bors', meaning bristles, burrs, and found also in the placename 'Bowsley' in Devon, with 'cumb', a deep hollow or valley, a coomb. The word 'cumb' derives from the celtic 'cwm', a deep valley, and English placenames containing 'cumb' are particularly common in the south western counties. The development of the surname 'Bascomb(e)' includes (in Dorset) Baskome (1600), Baskam (1600), Bascom (1602), and Bascombe (1628). One John Bascomb married Agnes Randall on the 27th June 1626 at Puddletown in Dorset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Baskam (christening), which was dated April 1545, St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, during the reign of King Henry VIII, '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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