Recorded as Lewisham, and probably Lewsham and Lewsam, this is an English surname. It originates either from Leweston, a village in Dorset, or more likely from the town of Lewisham in the county of Kent, with Lewsam and Lewsham being slang forms. Lewisham is first recorded before the famous Norman Conquest of 1066 and as early as the year 862 a.d in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. The spelling them was Liofshema, which bears only a slight resemblance to the current place name spelling, but in itself is an indication of how spellings 'develop' over the many centuries. The translation is basically 'Leofs homestead' with 'Leof' being an early personal name meaning 'love'. Leweston is first recorded some four hundred years later in 1256, and has basically the same meaning. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names, that is a name given to somebody who had moved away from their original homestead, to live or work somewhere else. However this name as the recordings below show, is something of an exception. Early recordings in the surviving registers of Greater London include Alice Lewsam at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on February 10th 1608, and William Lewisham, a christening witness actually at St Mary's Lewisham, on October 26th 1755.
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