This interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon locational origin, from the places called Ingham, in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, as "Ingeham", "Hincham" and "Ingham" respectively. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Inga", originally the name of a minor Norse God associated with fertility, plus the element "ham", meaning homestead; hence "Inga's homestead". One Roger de Ingham is registered in the Records of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk (1162 - 1168). The surname may also be a nickname for a crafty or ingenious person, deriving from the Old French "engaingne" or the Latin "ingania" meaning trickery or ingenuity. In the Domesday Book William Ingania is recorded in Huntingdonshire and William Inganie in Northamptonshire. The modern surname has a variety of forms, ranging from Gain(e), Gain(e)s and Gayne to Dingain, Engeham and Ingham. Later recordings include the variant form Engeham or Engham, Ralph Engham being a witness at the Church of Holy Trinity in the Minories, London, on October 4th 1589, whilst on September 12th 1808, William Engeham married Mary Barnes at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, during the middle years of the Napoleonic Wars (1794 - 1815). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alwinus de Ingham, which was dated 1049, in the "Old English Byname Register for Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward, known as "Edward the Confessor", 1042 - 1066. 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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