This interesting name was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, in the person of one Roger de Mortimer (flourished 1054 - 1074), son of Hugh, Bishop of Coutances. He assumed the name of Mortemer (Mortimer) from Mortemer-en-Brai, where he won a victory in 1054. The placename may have referred to a stagnant pond or partly drained swamp and it could also have been an allusion to the biblical Dead Sea, seen by crusaders. The derivation is from the Old French "mort(e)", dead and "mer", sea.The Mortimers were rewarded for their support of William I, by the grant of extensive lands in the Welsh marches. The Mortimer family played a considerable part in medieval English history, Roger de Mortimer, 1st Earl of March (1287, 1330), forced Edward II to abdicate in favour of his son, Edward 111. The modern surname can be found as Mortimer, Mortimore and Mutimer. The marriage of Stephen Mutimer and Sarah Ann Mills was recorded on January 19th 1852 at St. Matthew's, Bethnal Green, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Mortemer, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, The Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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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