Recorded as Borham and Boreham, this is an English locational surname. It originates from either a place called Boreham in the county of Essex, or from the town of Boreham Wood in Hertfordshire, or perhaps Boreham Street in the county of Sussex. The place name in all cases derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'bor', meaning elevated, and used in the transferred sense of a height or hill, plus '-ham', an enclosure or homestead. Hence 'The homestead on the hill'. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say they were names that were originally given to people who had left their homesteads, and had moved somewhere else. The easiest way to identify such people being to call them by the name of the place from whence they came. In this case the surname from this source is one of the earliest on record, with both Thomas de Borham, of Suffolk, and a Hernet de Boreham of Northampton, being recorded in the Hundred Rolls of those counties in the year 1273. Other recordings include those of John Boram, the rector of Newton in the county of Norfolk in 1398, whilst several centuries later the marriage of Samuel Boreham and Mary Phillips was recorded at St. James Clerkenwell, in the city of London, in 1745. This was also the year of the attempted invasion by Bonnie Prince Charlie. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of Harvey de Borham. This was dated 1272, in the Hundred Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272-1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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