This unusual name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called "Measham" in Leicestershire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Messeham", and in the Pipe Rolls of the county of 1182 as "Meisham". The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "meos", moss, the name of the River Mease which flows through Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire; "Measham" is on the River Mease and means "the village on the Mease", from the Olde English "ham", a homestead or village. The modern surname from this source can be found as Measham, Messum, Messam and Measom. One Maute Messume appears in the Suffolk Subsidy Rolls of 1524, while Robert Messum was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London on March 31st 1657. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Meysham, which was dated 1248, witness in the "Assize Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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