This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and can be either topographical or locational from a place so called in the West Riding of Yorkshire, both sources having the same derivation and meaning, i.e. "the cattle sheds". The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "byrum", itself from "byre", a barn or byre. The surname, when topographical, can mean a "dweller at the cattle byres". However, in some cases the surname may be derived from an occupational name for one who worked at a cattle byre (a cowman). The placename, meaning "place of the cattlesheds", was first recorded as "Byrum" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of circa 1030, and the surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below). Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded as Byram, Biram, Biron, Byran and Byron; the latter was made famous particularly by the poet Lord George Byron (1788 - 1824). Recordings from Yorkshire Church Registers include: the christening of Edmond, son of Thomas Byram, on November 4th 1593, at Pontefract, and the christening of Walter, son of Walter Byram, in 1605, at Thronton in Lonsdale. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is three black hedgehogs on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Birum, which was dated 1240, witness in the "Fines Court Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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