This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from Hanscombe End in Shillington, in Bedfordshire, and means "Han's valley". The placename is derived from the medieval German given name "Hans", and the Old English pre 7th Century "cumb", valley; "Hans" is an aphetic form of Johannes (John), which is itself from the Hebrew "Yochanan", meaning Jehovah has favoured (me with a son), or may Jehovah favour (this child). Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Hanscombe, Hanscomb, Handscomb, Hanscom and Hanscome. Among the recordings in Bedfordshire are the christening of John, son of Thomas Hanscomb, on October 16th 1586 at Campton, and the marriage of John Hanscomb and Susan Lake on October 28th 1629 at Chalgrave. The christening was also recorded in Bedfordshire of Bernard, son of Robert and Frances Hanscomb, on March 29th 1690, at Westoning. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Hanscombe, which was dated 1255, in the Chartularies of the Abbey of Ramsey, 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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