This is an English locational surname from the village of Graffham in the county of Sussex or Grafham in Huntingdonshire. Graffham in Sussex was first recorded as a place name in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Grafham, whilst Grafham in Huntingdon was also first recorded in Domesday Book as Grafham, and must be almost unique in retaining the same spelling for almost a complete millenium. In both cases the place name, and hence the later surnames, mean the farm (ham) by the grove (of trees). Locational surnames are usually 'from' names, and this is no exception. These were surnames given to people who had left their original village to move somewhere else, particularly the city of London, and thereafter were best identified by being called after their original homes. Recorded as Graffam, Graffham, Grafham, and others it is unclear when this name was first recorded, but in surviving church registers of the city of London we have the recording of Stephen Grafham at St Olaves Southwark, on November 29th 1753, and two centuries later that of Joseph Graffham at Woolwich, on December 20th 1958.
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