Recorded as Henmarsh, Hindmarsh, Hindmarch and the fused spellings of Himus, Hymas, Hymus, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is apparently of locational origin from a now "lost" medieval village believed to have been in the county of Durham. It is estimated that at least three thousand such places have disappeared from the maps of the British Isles over the past five centuries, and the majority have left behind, as the only reminder of their former existence, the surname in several forms. The reason for the "disappearances" include changes in agricultural practices to make way for sheep pastures, semi-natural causes such as the various plagus between 1348 and 1665, land drainage, war, coastal erosion, but in particular, urbanisation. It is believed that the original spelling was Hindmarsh from the pre 7th century "hind" meaning female deer and "mersc," a marsh or fen; hence "the marsh frequented by deer". Early examples of recordings in surviving church registers include that on July 28th 1577, of Jennet Hyndmas and Roger Preston who were married at St. Nicholas, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland, Anthony Hymas, who was christened on August 7th 1658, at All Saints, also Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, whilst Robert Hymas and Katherine Blockley were married on March 3rd 1684, at Allhallows, London Wall, city of London. 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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