This very unusual surname has, we believe, two possible origins. Both are Olde English pre 10th century, and patronymic. The first, and most probable is a development of the popular baptismal name 'Hund' meaning 'hound', which was found in ancient scrolls at the time of Anglo-Saxons in the 9th century a.d.. This name would originally have been given to a fast runner, or possibly as a nickname for a loyal person. By late medieval times it had developed into the patronymic 'Houndson'. The second source is like the popular surname 'Hanson' a derivative from 'Hann's son' with 'Hann' being a short form of Johann (John).Curiously both these surnames were, in their original forms, cross matched with Hanson appearing as both Handson and Hansom, whilst Houndson is found as Hounson and Houndsum! What is certain is that by the 16th century the two surnames were quite separate and distinctive, although still with many variant forms. These church recordings include Richard Houndsum who married Eliza Hudd at St James Church, Dukes Place, London, on October 13th 1667, William Houndsome, at Putney Church on August 5th 1680, Sara Hounsom at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on July 29th 1799, and Elizabeth Hounsome, who married Frederick John Nicholls, at St Pancras Old Church, London, on February 1st 1868. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Hondesome, which was dated 1332, in the Subsidy Rolls of the County of Stafford, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as 'The father of the Navy' 1327 - 1377. 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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