This name is of English locational origin from any of the various places so called, for example Clapham in Bedfordshire, Surrey, Sussex and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The name, in all cases, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "clop", a hillock, plus "ham", a homestead, hence, "the homestead on the hillock". The surname from the last mentioned place is first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Peter de Clopham appears in the "Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire", dated 1273 and a Thomas de Clapham in the 1379 "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire". In 1618 Thomas Clapham and Ann Price were married at St. Mary, Aldermary, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de (of) Clapehamme, witness, which was dated 1204, The Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King John, "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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