This interesting surname is of Old Norse origin, and comes from a male given name. The derivation of the name is from the Old Norse personal byname "Ormr", Old Danish, Old Swedish, "Orm", meaning "snake, serpent, dragon", and is cognate with the Olde English pre 7th Century "wyrm", worm, which originally had the same range of meanings. The name would originally have been given to someone thought to bear a fancied resemblance to one of these creatures, as the creation of names from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day names derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal qualities. "Orm" (without surname) appears in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Orm de Hedoc was noted in the 1169 Pipe Rolls of Lancashire. Augustine Orumme was listed in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Orme, Oram, Ormes, Orum and Orrom. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of John Ormes and Elizabeth Brown at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on February 15th 1622; the christening of Samuell, son of William and Hester Ormes, on July 11th 1624, at St. Mary Whitechapel; and the marriage of Edward Ormes and Mary Mathews on January 31st 1632, at St. Mary Mounthaw. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Orm, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", 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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