Ellam is a variant of the place name Elham, a location which is found in Kent. It is compounded of two elements, the first being 'alor', the name for alder trees. 'Ham', the second element, is the Olde English pre 7th Century term for village. Thus 'Elham' would have referred to the village of Alders. The placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Aham' 'Elham' and 'Eleham' were both first recorded in 1182 and 1189 respectively. The infant Rose Ellam was christened on July 17th 1603 at St. Mary the Virgin in Dover. Barbara Ellam and Gregorius Mayall were married on the August 30th 1612 in Birchington Kent. Also married in Birchington were Janam Elam and Gulielmus Wahall on December 15th, 1645. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Marye Elam (married), which was dated October 30th 1569, St. Mary the Virgin, Dover, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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