This unusual name, found mainly in the eastern counties of England, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either the village of Lamas or Lammas in Norfolk, near Norwich, or from Lamersh, near Sudbury in Essex. Both of these places are recorded as "Lamers" in the Domesday Book of 1086; thereafter Lam(m)as is "Lammasse" in the Norfolk Pipe Rolls of 1186, and Lamarsh appears as "Lammers" in 1233, and as "Lammerssh" in 1327. These placenames share the same meaning and erivation, which is "the loam marsh", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lam", loam, with "mersc", marsh; an alternative derivation for the first element is the Olde English "lamb", lamb, but this is less likely. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor, and local landowners, and were used as a means of identification by those who had left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Examples of the surname, now usually found as Lam(m)as and Lam(m)ers, include: the marriage of Johannas (John) Lammas and Dorothy Moulten, in Thaxted, Essex, on November 21st 1568, and the christening of Henrie, son of Nicholas Lammas, on January 1st 1577, at Rendham in Suffolk. One Edward Lammas was an early emigrant to the American Colonies, leaving London in the "Suzan and Ellin" in April 1635, bound for New England. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Brictus de Lammasse, which was dated 1190, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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