This ancient surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from either of two Olde English pre 7th Century male given names; the one, "Guthmaer", composed of the elements "guth", battle, and "maer", famous, and the other, "Godmaer", a compound of the elements "god", good, and "maer" (as above). Pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon, and Old Norse personal names were usually distinctive compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water, and War, or composed of disparate elements. he former name constitutes the first element of Gomersal, a parish near Cleckheaton in the West Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as "Gomershale" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and translating as "Guthmaer's halh (nook, recess)".The personal name Godmarus (without surname) was noted in the Domesday Book of 1086, and a Guthmarus clericus appears in the Chartulary of the Abbey of Ramsey (Norfolk), dated circa 1170. By the early Middle English period both these names had indistinguishably fallen together as Go(d)mar and Go(d)mer, the eventual loss of the internal "d" giving Gumer, Gomer and Gomar. Early examples of the surname include: Stephen Gomer (Leicestershire, 1273); Simon Gumer (Yorkshire, 1276); and Robert Gomar (Huntingdonshire, 1279). On November 9th 1600, the marriage of Agnes Gomar to John Snell took place at Sunbury on Thames, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Colin Godmar, which was dated 1255, in the "Chartulary of the Abbey of Ramsey", Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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