This interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English "king", a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "cyning", king, with "man", man (servant). The term "Kingman" was used as an occupational name for a person employed in the king's household, or someone who looked after royal property, a steward, reeve, or estate-keeper, for instance. It was also used as a nickname for the assistant to the person who played the part of the king in a pageant, or for the servant of any man who had attracted the nickname "King" for conducting himself in a kingly manner, for instance, or who had won the title in some contest. One William Kingman was recorded in "Kirby's Quest for Somerset", for the year 1275, and Godwin Kingesreive is listed in the Lincolnshire Feet of Fines in 1208. Robert Kingman, of Somerset, is included in the Register of the University of Oxford for 1611. One Henry Kingman, his wife Joane and their five children were early emigrants to the American colonies; they left Weymouth in March 1635, bound for New England. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Kingesman, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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