This is an Old English pre 6th century geographical location name specifically from Lathamm in Ormskirk, Lancashire. There are many ramifications of the name, spread widely over the north of England, but all have the same derivation, from 'lade' or 'lathe' a barn, or the name means 'dweller at the barns'. A Philip Lathom was wounded at Agincourt in 1415. He survived to marry a Frenchwoman and found the family of the La Thams, a last survivor of which met and spoke with British troops about her ancestor behind the lines at the Battle of the Somme in 1915. The original Coat of Arms awarded to Philip Lathom was Gold (meaning generosity), a Blue Chief (in command) and three Silver Plates denoting 'a wearer of armour'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Latham which was dated 1204, in the Yorkshire Assizes 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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