This is an English locational surname. It apparently originates from a place which judging by the known surname spellings of Buncam, Buncom, Buncom, Buncombe, Bunkham and others, should be found in one of these spellings or at least somewhere near, but no such luck. Although well recorded in the surviving registers of the city of London since at least Stuart times, no place of origin has been proven, although the 'combe' suffix would suggest the West Country. Some five thousand surnames are believe to originate from now 'lost' medieval vilages, and this would seem to be another to add to the growing list. Very few place names begin with 'Bun' and those that do such as Bunbury in Cheshire or Bungay in Suffolk are believed to mean the place of the Buna tribe, a pre 7th century people. However the word as 'bune' also meant 'reed', so as with this surname it would be equally logical for it to describe a valley (combe) where reeds grew. Reeds were used extensively both for roofing as thatch, and for floor coverings as an early type of carpet. The earliest recording in the surviving church registers of the city of London may be that of William Bunckom and his wife Mary. They were witnesses at the christening of their daughter, exotically named Angel, at St Andrews Holborn, on December 7th 1669.
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