Recorded in many forms including Measom, Measham, Messam, Messom, Messum, Messham, Meysham and others, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from a place called Measham in the county of Leicestershire. The placename is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, as Messeham, and in the Pipe Rolls of the county of 1182 as Meisham. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "meos", meaning a swamp or moss. This is also the name of the River Mease which flows through Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. To this was been added "ham", the Olde English word for a homestead or village, the modern hamlet. Early examples of the name recordings in surviving church registers of the city of London include the christening of Abell Maysham at St. Mary Woolchurch on October 4th 1566, and the marriage of William Mesham and Margaret Pearson at St. Giles in the Field, Holborn, on November 22nd 1594. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Meysham. This was dated 1248, when he was a witness at the Assize Court of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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