This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant form of the ancient locational name Meopham, from the place so called near Rochester in Kent. The placename is first recorded in the Saxon Chronicles of 788 as "Meapaham", and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Mepeham". The placename means "Meapa's estate or homestead", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Meapa", of unknown origin but found also in the placename "Mepal" in Cambridgeshire, with "ham", village, estate, manor, homestead.Locational names were often acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, and were most easily identified with the name of their birthplace. The modern surname Meopham can also be found as Mepham and Meapham. Recordings from Kent Church Registers include the marriage of Thomas Mepham and Mary Wildish on July 7th 1657, at All Saints, Maidstone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Mepham, which was dated October 20th 1577, christened at St. Laurence's, Thanet, Kent, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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