This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational surname deriving from any of the places called "Newnham" in Hampshire, Kent and the south Midland counties. These places are variously recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Neuneham, Neuham, Neweham and Niweham", and all share the same meaning and derivation, "the new homestead", from the Old English pre 7th Century "neowe", new, and "ham", village, manor or homestead. Locational surnames were usually used by the Lord of the Manor and by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area and were best identified by the name of their home towns. The marriage of Thomas Newnham and Ann Smith was recorded at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1743. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Neunenham, which was dated 1273, The Cambridgeshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward I, "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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