This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name for Godalming in Surrey. The placename, recorded as "Godelmingum" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (880), and as "Godelminge" in the Domesday Book of 1086, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Godhelm" (which corresponds to the Old German "Godohelm", composed of the elements "god", good, god, and "helm", helmet), and "ing", people of; hence, "people of Godhelm". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Godliman, Godelman and Godleman. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Liddie Godleman and John Furlonger on April 19th 1617, at Birdham, Sussex; the marriage of Edward Godelman and Marie Alverd on June 12th 1623, at St. Nicholas', Brighton, Sussex; and the christening of Joseph, son of William and Anne Godliman, on June 22nd 1745, at St. Anne's, Soho, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Goddlman, which was dated November 10th 1613, a christening witness at Angmering, Sussex, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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