This is a very old English surname. It is locational, and may have originated from the 'lost' village of Gorehambury near the town of St. Albans in Hertfordshire. The derivation is from the pre 7th Century Olde English word "gor" meaning "muddy" and "ham", a farm or homestead. Some five thousand British surnames are believed to derive from 'lost' villages, of which the only public reminder in the 20th century, is the surviving surname. Locational surnames are 'from' names, and were usually given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. Certainly we know from research that the surname is one of the first in the medieval records. The first name holder, as shown below, being renowned for his good works. These included the founding of the leper hospital of St. Julian in Dunstable, and a nunnery at Sopwell in Bedfordshire. Other interesting recordings include George Gorham (1787- 1857). He was a famous protestant divine, and Vicar of Brampford Speke, in the county of Devonshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Geoffrey de Gorham. He probably lived from the year 1080 to 1146. He was the abbot of St. Albans during the reign of King Stephen of England, who reigned from 1135 to 1154.
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