This interesting surname has two distinct possible origins one English, the other Irish. From England the surname is believed to be a patronymic of the pre Middle English male given name 'Gormund', itself deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "Garmund". This was composed of the elements "gar", meaning a spear and "mund", meaning protection. This type of compound was very popular in England in those early times. The second origin is Irish, and to have originated as Mac Gormain, which translates as 'The son of the son of Blue'. Quite why anybody should be called 'blue' is unclear, unless it be a reference to the wearing of wode, which was blue. In the 16th century the Mac and O prefixes sometimes fell into disuse. When the spirit of the nation was revived in the 19th century, the prefixes were gradually restored. Some namebearers, when resuming their prefix, assumed the wrong one (!), and became O' Gorman in County Clare. The other spellings are to be found as MacGorman in County Monaghan, and as Gorman in County. Tipperary. Examples of the Irish recordings include on October 4th 1860, John Gorman of Woodford, County Galway, who married Elizabeth Martin of Carrickmacross, County Monaghan at University Church, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Four children were born to them between 1861 and 1867, being Lorcan, Nial, John Paul, and Elizabeth Mary. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is believed to be that of William Gormund, which was dated 1273, in the 'Hundred Rolls' of the county of Wiltshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, and known by the nickname of "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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