This name is of English locational origin from a place in Suffolk called Blakenham. Recorded as Blackam in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as Blakeham in the 1190 Fine Court Rolls of the county, the first element is the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname Blaca, from 'blaec' meaning 'black' or 'dark', and originally given to one with dark hair or complexion, plus the Olde English 'ham', a manor, estate or homestead. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 12th Century, (see below).One, Richard de Blakeham appears in the 1273 'Hundred Rolls of Suffolk', and on November 19th 1577 Willyam Blakeham and Margaret Harper were married in Westminster, London. On January 15th 1625 the marriage of Samuel Blackham and Jane Garrett was recorded in the church register of Uxbridge, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Benedictus de (of) Blakeham, which was dated circa 1135 - 'Documents of Bury St. Edmunds', Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry I, The Lion of Justice, 1100 - 1135. 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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