This interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, with variant spellings Langham, Langam etc., is a locational name from any of the various places named with the Old English pre 7th Century "lang" meaning "long", plus the Old English "ham", a village or homestead. These places include Langham in Suffolk, recorded as "Langham" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Langham near Gillingham, Dorset, appearing as Langeham in the 1157 Pipe Rolls of that county and Langham, (Norfolk), entered as Langaham in the Domesday Book. Laneham near Tuxford, (Nottinghamshire), which may also have given rise to the surname, appears as "Lanum" in the Domesday Book, and is named from the Old English "lanum", (at) the lanes. Such locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their place of birth to seek work elsewhere, and regional and dialectal differences produced variations in the spelling of the name. On January 25th 1572 John Lanham and Mary Mason were married in St. Nicholas Acons, London. The Lanham Coat of Arms depicts a chevron between three gold roses on a blue shield. The Chevron signifies Protection and Faithful service, and the Rose is symbolic of Beauty and Grace. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Langham, which was dated 1201, "The Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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