This interesting and most curious surname has two possible origins. Firstly, the name may be of Old Welsh origin, as a variant of Baughan, which is a diminutive of Baugh, from the Welsh "bychan", a hypocoristic form of "bach", little, probably a nickname given to a short or small man. The "-gh" in Celtic languages has an "f" sound. However, in a few instances, the name may also be of locational origin, from a minor place called Buffam in Yorkshire, no longer found on the maps. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Bofa", plus the Olde English "-ham", village, settlement, estate; hence, "Bofa's ham". From this source, comes the recording of the birth of Robert, son of James and Margery Buffum, in 1590 at Buffam in Yorkshire. Other early examples include the marriage of Robert Buffum to Margaret Blessing on August 23rd 1613, at St. Nicolas' Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and the christening of Margarett, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Buffham, on October 15th 1691, at Leverton, Lincolnshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Griffith ap Res Boughan ... Bougham, which was dated 1352, in "Medieval Records of West Wales", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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