This interesting surname, with variant spellings Edmonds and Edmons, is a patronymic form of the Medieval English male given name Edmund, itself coming from the Old English pre 7th Century Eadmund, composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements "ead", prosperity, fortune, plus "mund", protection. The first noteworthy Edmund was King of the East Angles, martyred by the Danes in 870 for refusing to renounce christianity. The abbey and town of Bury St. Edmunds are named in his honour. Edmund the magnificent, King of England, died in 946. Edmund(us), without surname is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname first appears in the early 13th Century, (see below). One, John Edmond and a Sibil Edmund appear in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", dated 1275. A notable namebearer was John Edmunds, fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, 1517, D.D., 1520; master of Peterhouse, 1522, and vice-chancellor, 1523. One of the earliest emigrants to the New World was Robert Edmunds who sailed to Virginia in the "Marygold" in 1619, and settled near Treasurors Plant, James City. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholaus Edmundus, which was dated 1210, the Curia Regis of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King John known as "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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