Recorded as Hanson, Hansom, Hondson, Houndsom, Hounsom, Hounsham, Houndsum and others, this is an English patronymic surname. It originates from any of three pre 7th century personal names. These are Hound, from the Old English word "hund", meaning a hound or dog; Hand, from the Old English "hand" literally meaning hand, or Han(n), a Flemish form of John, itself coming from the Hebrew Yochanan meaning "Jehovah has favoured me with a son". As early examples of the recordings we have Bonde Hund in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1166, and Richard Hand in the Hundred Rolls of the landowners of Bedfordshire, and dated 1279. The patronymic forms of the three personal names emerge in the 14th century with examples such as John Handson of Yorkshire in 1327, William Honesone of Staffordshire in 1332, and John Hanson of Cumberland, in the same year. The forms showing "m" replacing "n" in the final syllable are well recorded in London church registers from the mid 16th Century. Examples include that on June 19th 1567 of William Hansome, who was christened at St. James Garlickhithe, whilst Mary Houndsom and William Robinson were married at St. Mary's Somerset, on April 26th 1666, and Ann Hounsum was christened at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, on April 9th 1727. 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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