This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Debnam, Deadman, etc., is a dialectal variant of the locational name Debenham in Suffolk, deriving from the Old English pre 7th century river name "Deopa" meaning "Deep plus "ham" "homestead". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Rachell Deadman who married Thomas Pope on September 12th 1580, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, Andrew son of Andrew and Ellin Dedman, was christened in 1637, at St.Botolph without Aldgate, London, and Frances Dedman was christened on August 1st 1638, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. John, son of Richard Dedman, was christened on April 22nd 1649, at St. Swithin's, London - Stone, and Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Dedman, was christened in 1707, at Puttenham, Suffolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Debenham, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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