This name is of English locational origin from a place in Westmoreland called Beetham, recorded as Biedun in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as Bethum in 'Early Yorkshire Charters', dated 1157. The name is believed to derive from the Olde Norse 'biothr' meaning a 'table' used here in the transferred sense of 'flat land'. The surname from this source is first recorded in the late 12th Century, (see below). The name is recorded as Badham, Beedham, Beetham, Bidam, Betham, Bethum and Batham in London Church Registers. On July 4th 1628 Henry Batham and Grace Goffe were married in St. Martin and St. Clements, Eastcheap and on June 24th 1634 Ellen Batham married John Whiting in St. Mary Mountain, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de (of) Betham, which was dated 1190 - The Pipe Rolls of Westmoreland, during the reign of King Richard I, Richard the Lionheart 1189 - 1199. 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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