This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from either of two places in Cheshire called Mottram. The placenames are derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "(ge)mot", meaning a "meeting-place", and "aern", a house or hall; hence, "the house where meetings were held". The possibility also exists that the placename derives from the Olde English "(ge)mot-rum", meaning meeting place, or "(ge)mot-treum", assembly trees. Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Mottram St. Andrew, under the form "Motre" is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname had clearly emerged by the late 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include: Richard Motteram, who was noted in the Nottinghamshire Coroner's Rolls, and John Motrum, recorded in the Norwich Depositions (1678) in the Cheshire Registers. The marriage of Anne Mottram to George Barlowe was recorded at Prestbury, Cheshire, on July 29th 1565. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was Charles Mottram (1807 - 1876), an engraver who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1861. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Mottrum, which was dated 1287, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire", 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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