This interesting name is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a variant form of the more familiar locational surname "Latham", which derives from any one of the following places: Latham, in West Yorkshire; Lathom, in Lancashire; and Laytham in East Yorkshire. All of these share the same meaning and derivation, which is "(place of or by) the barns", derived from the Old Norse "hlatha", barn. Lathom in Lancashire is recorded as "Latune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and in the 1201 Pipe Rolls of the county as "Lathum". "Laytham" in East Yorkshire appears as "Ladone" in the Domesday Book. Locational surnames were usually acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Latham, Lathom, Laytham, Leatham and Lathem. The marriage of John Leatham and Kathleen Lee was recorded in Carlton near Snaith in Yorkshire on January 28th 1626. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Latham (witness), which was dated 1204, in the "Yorkshire Assize Court Rolls", 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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