This ancient and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an example of the many modern surnames that have been created from nicknames or bynames. In this instance the modern surname, found as Gomm, Gomme, Goom, Gumm, Gumme and Gumb, is a survival of the Olde English pre 7th Century word "guma", man, in Middle English "gome", applied to someone employed as a servant or companion, a "right-hand man", as in "John's man". Nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to occupation, or to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes of peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, and to habits of dress. Interestingly, the equivalent surname in Spanish is Gomez (and in Portugal Gomes), one of the most frequently found names in Spanish-speaking countries. The surname development since 1247 (see below) includes: Henry le Gome (1275, Worcestershire); John Gom (1279, Cambridgeshire); Walter Gomme (1297, Cornwall); and John le Goom (1340, Cheshire). The marriage of William Gomm and Mary Boult was recorded at St. Bartholomew the Less, London, on June 20th 1655. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Gumme, which was dated 1247, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Bedfordshire", 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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