One of the earliest of personal names which later developed into a prominent surname was the hebrew "Jacob" into Jacobus and later Jacomus, the "modern" James. The popularity of this version ensured a wide selection of variants and nickname forms, including Jim, Gem, and Jemma. Jimme Balder is recorded in the 1286 Cheshire Assize Rolls although the first true surname form is at least a century later (see below). As Jim(m)es the form is patronymic and a shortening of the usual Jimson or Jameson, the origin being Kentish and an example of the famous medieval Kent-Sussex dialect.Recording examples include Jone Jemys, christened at Chislet, Kent, on May 8th 1560, Elizabeth Jimes who married Thomas Turner at Canterbury on June 6th 1717, and Jane Jimce, a Devon spelling, who married Geoffrey Humphrey at St. Saviours Church, Dartmouth on May 18th 1755, in the reign of King George 11 (1727-1760). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Gimme, which was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "The Last Plantagenet", 1377 - 1399. 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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