Recorded in several spellings including Menham, Mineham, Minham, Minam, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational and is a slang or at least a variant spelling of the Suffolk village name Mendham. This place is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Wills record of the year 951 a.d. as 'Myndham'. The name translates as 'The homestead of Munda', an early personal name which probably derives from the Norse - Viking word 'mundi', the modern 'Monday'. The Munda's were a tribe of some importance in the centuries after the end of the Roam Conquest of Britain in 412 a.d. The recorded spelling and development of the surname taken from early surviving church records includes examples such as Edward Mynham, a witness at St. Margarets Westminster on November 9th 1636, whilst more than half a century earlier, Elizabeth Minham or Mineham was christened at St. Johns church, Hackney on March 1st 1562. Far away in Cumberland showing how far the name had spread, James Menham was christened at Rockcliffe, in that county on November 19th 1819. An early recording in what may be regarded as the 'correct' spelling is that of Ann Mendham, christened at St. Mary Magdalene, in the city of London, on June 12th 1572. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth Ist of Engand and known to later history as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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