This interesting name, with variant forms, Beauchamp, Beachamp, Beachem, and De Beauchamp, is of French locational origin from any of the several places named with the old French "beau", "bel" meaning "fair" and "lovely", plus "champ(s)", field or plain, for example, Beauchamp in La Manche and Somme. The surname was introduced into England by the Normans and the first recorded namebearer, (see below), obtained forty three lordships from William the Conqueror. In early records the name was frequently Latinized as "de Bello Campo".One, William de Bello Campo appears in the 1161 "Knights' Templars Records of London". In 1203 a Robert de Beauchamp, witness was noted in "The Fine Court Rolls of Essex", and in 1327 Thomas de Becham was entered in the Someset County Rolls. On August 18th 1622 Alice, daughter of John Beacham, was christened in Saint Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Belcamp, which was dated 1086, in the "The Domesday Book for Hertfordshire", during the reign of King William 1, known as the Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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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