This very unusual name was originally recorded in the county of Dumfriess, Scotland and nowhere else. However the recordings are Victorian and the name is therefore a variant. In fact it is an "Anglicized" derivative of the ancient Gaelic "Each-duinn" which translates as "the horse lord", a pre 10th Century baptismal name. The name development is fascinating and shows how the sound of a name can be translated into a phonetic spelling. In 1467 the name appears as "Eachuinn" whilst in 1560 it is recorded as Mac Eachann. The name seems to have divided then between name holders who retained the "Mac" (son of) to become Mac Eachan, and Earchman, one James Earchman being a christening witness at Mottat, Dumfries on April 15th 1799, whilst Mary Earshman married James Henderson at Lochmaden, Dunfries on February 14th 1868. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Earsman, which was dated March 26th 1858, a witness at Mottat Church, Dumfrieshire, during the reign of Queen Victoria "The Great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. 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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