This unusual surname, with variant spellings Goodram, Gooderham and Guthrum, derives from the Old Norse personal name "Gathormr", composed of the elements "guth", "battle", plus "ormr", snake or serpent, hence "battle snake". Gudram was the name of the first Danish King of East Anglia and the name is preserved in the York street-name "Goodragate". The name is now mainly found recorded in Norfolk. The surname was first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below). One Thomas Guderam appears in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk, dated 1283. Hester Goodram was christened on July 22nd 1706, in St. Giles', Cripplegate, London. One Godfrey Goodram married Elizabeth Alred on May 28th 1720, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. On May 25th 1601, Alice White married John Goodrome at St. Gregory by St. Paul's, London, while on November 12th 1749, George, son of Thomas and Mary Goodrum, was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Godrum, which was dated 1260, witness in the "Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire", 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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