This interesting surname has three 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). Alternately the surname may be a nickname for a crafty or ingenious person, and derive from the Old French "engaingne" or the Latin "ingania" meaning 'ingenuity'. In the Domesday Book William Ingania is recorded in Huntingdonshire and William Inganie in Northamptonshire. Lastly the name can be Irish from the Gaelic 'Geigbeannach' meaning 'the fettered one!' The modern surname has a wide variety of forms, ranging from Gain(e), Gain(e)s and Gayne to Dingain, Engeham and Ingham. Early recordinmgs include Ralph Engaigne of Cumbria in 1158, Richard Ingan of Gloucester in 1228, John en Gayne of Ipswich, Suffolk in 1271, and John Le Gayne of Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1275. Church recordings include examples such as Katherine Gaine, christened at St Margarets, Westminster on October 1st 1599, and the unusual one of Louis Gain, a witness at the French Huguenot Church, Glasshouse Street, London on July 12th 1753. The Coat of Arms has the blazon of a silver field, with two red bars dancettee, and the crest of a demi lion rampant. 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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