This is quite a rare early English surname, dating to Anglo Saxon times. Although it was originally job descriptive, it was also in pre Norman times and later into the Medieval Period confusingly used as a personal name. Either way as a "name" it is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1066, but its origins date back to the first Anglo-Saxons in the 6th century. In those ancient times it was clearly occupational, deriving from the word "lagman," and meaning lawman. Whether this described a person responsible for upholding the law in the sense of a policeman, or whether as a lawyer or court official, or indeed anybody who was temporarily or permanently responsible for law maintenance, or a combination of the lot, we have no means of telling. What we do know from the Domesday Book is that as an occupational surname it seems first to have been associated with the county of Lincolnshire. Here there are two recordings of Brictric and Alwold Lageman of Lincoln. However these were not hereditary. Hereditary surnames are from the 12th century and came about when (usually) a son followed his father into the same occupation or skill. If he did'nt the name died out. The first definative recordings are those of Adam Laweman of Lancashire, in 1246, and William Lawman in the pipe rolls of the county of Norfolk in 1279.
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