Recorded as Leeming, Lemming, Leaming, Liming, Limming, Lyminge, and possibly others, this is an early English surname. It has three possible origins. The first and most likely, is locational from either of two villages called Leeming, both in the county of Yorkshire. One is near the near the town of Keighley in the West Riding, whilst the second is on the Great North Road now known as the A1, near the border with County Durham. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, from the Olde English word "leoma" used as a river name and meaning shining or sparkling. The second possible origin is a transposition from the personal name "Leofman" meaning "Dear man", whilst the third was a medieval nickname for a lover or sweetheart with the same elements as above. Examples of early church recordings include Elizabeth Leeming who was christened at St. Bartholomew the Great in the city of London on October 10th 1630, whilst Anthony Limming was a christening witness at the church of St John Zachary, also in the city of London, on June 29th 1654. A coat of arms granted to the Leeming family of Yorkshire has the blazon of an ermine field thereon a cross patonce azure. The crest being a griffin passant azure. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen Leming. This was dated 1273, in the Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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