This is the patronymic form of the personal name "Odam", meaning "son of Odam". It is an interesting and unusual name with a very specific and clear derivation. In Old English pre 7th Century the word "athum" meant "son-in-law" and in Middle English had become "Odam". Both were apparently used as nicknames to distinguish a man who had made a particularly good match for himself by marrying the daughter of a leading citizen in the local community. An Edward Ondham (a corruption of the name) is recorded as a resident of St.Lucys Parish, Barbados in 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Odam. which was dated 1313, in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire. during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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