This unusual name, with variant spellings Bawme and Balm(e), recorded in London Church Registers from the mid 16th Century is of French Huguenot origin. The derivation is from the Provencal (Southern French) "baume" meaning a cave and is therefore topographic for one who lived by a cave. During the late 16th\early 17th Century thousands of French Huguenot refugees entered England to escape religious persecutions in their own country and this is reflected by the sudden appearance of French names in English Church Registers. On December 18th 1610, William Baum and Vinca Gricory were married in St. Katherine by the Tower and on April 12th 1676 Charle Cesar Baume, son of Pierre Baume and Marie Magdelainne De lafont was christened in the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jamis Bawme, which was dated July 25th 1540, christened in St. Stephens, 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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