Recorded in several spellings a shown below, this interesting surname has two proven origins. It may be of Anglo-Saxon, deriving from the pre 7th century personal name "Leofman", meaning "dear man", a nickname for a lover or sweetheart. Secondly it could be Scottish or Irish, and deriving from the medieval word "Laghman". This itself descended from ancient Norse-Viking and means "law man", although whether this was an occupation or a personal name is unclear. The surname dates back to the late 12th century (see below), and early recordings include William Lemmon, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Sussex in 1275, and in Scotland David McLamagn in 1358. The modern surname spellings from about the 17th century include McLemon, McLeman, Leeman, Leaman, Limon and Leman. John Lemon, aged 20 years, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Rappahanock" bound for New York in June 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reiner Leman, which was dated 1185, in the "Knights Templars Records of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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