This most unusual surname may have derived from two possible sources. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, as a locational name from Buckham, a hamlet near Beaminster in Dorset, recorded as "Bochenham" in the Domesday Book of 1086. This placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Bucca", from "bucc(a)", a he-goat, and "-ham", enclosure. However, the name may also be a curious variant of Balcombe, from a place so called in Sussex, appearing as "Balecumba" in 1121, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and composed of the Olde English "bealu", evil, calamity, and "cumb", a valley, deep hollow; hence the place was possibly the scene of some battle or calamity. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification. Early examples include: the christening of Gyles Bawcom in London on June 29th 1567; the christening of Margery Buckham on December 17th 1627, at Bridgwater, Somerset; and the christening of Ann, daughter of John and Mary Bauckham, on September 5th 1725, at Folkington, Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Balcombe, which was dated November 19th 1542, marriage to Jone Breete, at Balcombe in Sussex, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good 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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