This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Marcham, a parish and village, near Abington, in Berkshire, which was recorded as "Mercham" in 835 and as "Merceham" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Marcham Park is a seat near the village itself. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "merece", smallage (an archaic name for wild celery) and "hamm", a meadow, enclosure; hence "the ham where smallage grew". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, which resulted in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname itself first appears in the late 13th Century (see below), while another early example is that of Peter de Marcham, in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire, in 1379. London Church Registers record the christening of Saynts, daughter of William Marcham, on May 19th 1556 at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, and the marriage of John Marcham and Ann Heberon at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf, on July 4th 1650. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Marcham, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Nottinghamshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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