This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is locational from places so called in Buckinghamshire and Suffolk and a place called "Denholme" in Yorkshire. The placename is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "denu", a valley and "ham", a homestead, thus the dweller at the farm in the valley. 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. The name development since 1176 (see below) includes: John de Deneholme (1332, Lancashire) and John Denham (1466 - 1467, Surrey). One William Denham was recorded as living at Warwick, Squeake, Virgina, on February 16th 1623. The christening of Alexander, son of Thomas and Sarah Denham, was recorded on February 7th 1639 at St. Ann's, Blackfriars, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Deneham, which was dated 1176, Pipe Rolls of Buckinghamshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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