Recorded in several spelling forms including Gallamore, Gallymore, Gallimore, Gallemore and Galamore, this is an English locational surname. It originates from a now 'lost' medieval village, which was probably in East Anglia, although this is by no means certain. The derivation is almost certainly from the pre 7th century Danish word 'galgi' meaning a gallows, and the Olde English 'mor', an uncultivated area of heathland. There are a number of places still recorded called Gallows Hill, and therefore Gallows Moor is quite logical, even if now extinct.Some five thousand or roughly 8% of all British surnames are believed to originate from 'lost' sites, of which the only reminder in the 20th century is the surname itself. 'Lost' sites are also often the ones that provide surnames in multi spellings, as without a definitive place name to refer back to, a combination of erratic spelling and 'thick' local dialects could and can, easily distort a surname spelling. In this case the surname is well recorded in the very earliest of the surviving London church registers, and these recordings include: Griffith Gallamore, a witness at the church of St Mary Aldermary, on April 7th 1541. This was in the reign of King Henry V111 of England, otherwise known as 'Bluff King Hal', but probably not to his six wives! Later recordings include Thomas Gallemoore at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on October 21st 1654, and yet only two years later, on May 10th 1656, and at the same church, he is recorded as Thomas Gallemore. This would seem to be a simple slip of the registrars pen, but one that illustrates the continual development of a surname spelling.
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