This is a typical English village surname. Recorded in several forms including Holtham, Holttom, and Houltham, it is locational from Holtham, a village near the town of Alton, in the county of Hampshire. The origination is from the pre 7th century Olde English words "holh" meaning a valley or hollow, and either "ham" a house or farm or the interchangeable "tun", a farm or settlement. Locational surnames of this type were usually given to people as easy identification after they left their own village and moved elsewhere. This could in fact be the next village, but was often the ancient city of London, where as was well known in medieval times by those of course that had not been, to have "streets paved with gold"! In this case the surname is very well recorded in the not so far distant town of Portsmouth. The first recording being that of Richard Holtham, who married Elizabbeth Page at St Peters church, on November 30th 1695. Thereafter for nearly a century and half this church played a great part in the devlopment of the family. Showing how spellings change on June 13th 1813 there is the recording of the alternative spelling of Houltham, with Joseph Houltham, the son of Thomas Houltham, being christened at St Johns church, in the adjoining town of Portsea.
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