This interesting surname is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The place name was probably composed of the Old English personal name "Ducca" plus the Anglo-Saxon "-ham", a frequent element in place-names, originally meaning "enclosure", but in placenames it is often used to refer to flat land on a river hence it must be assumed to mean "water-meadow". Thus, "Ducca's water meadow". Ducca was recorded in "Duccenhull" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (923 A.D.). On January 21st 1721, at St. Martin in the fields, Westminster Anne, daughter of Samuel and Lucy Ducom was christened. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert and Mary Duckham, which was dated May 4th 1682, during the reign of King Charles 11, "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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