Recorded as Himer, Himas, Highmasse, Hymas, Hymer, Hymers, Hymerson, and Hymor, this is an ancient English surname. It is said that there are at least five possible origins. It may be locational and a fused form of the 'lost' village name of Hindmarsh, meaning 'The village behind the marsh, and this is the origin apparently favoured by the International Genealogical Index. However other origins include the village name of Higham of which the usual surname forms are Higham, Hyam or Hyams. Another possible origin is as a derivative of the pre 7th century Olde English word 'hegman' from 'heg' meaning and being pronounced as 'hay'. This could be job descriptive for a seller of hay, a hay merchant, although 'heg' could also be used to mean tall, and hence be a nickname for a tall man. Hyman is the usual spelling. Another possibility is a derivative of 'High moor', as the surname is recorded heraldically as Hymor in Northumberland. Early examples of the surname spelling include Frauncis Hymers who married Sara Marsh at the church of St Gregory's by St Paul's, in the city of London, on August 18th 1636 and John Hymer at St Botolphs Bishopgate, also city of London, on June 7th 1701. John Hymers (1803 - 1888) was the president of St. John's College, Cambridge, during the reign of Queen Victoria. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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