This interesting and unusual surname with variant spellings Horsman and Horseman is an English occupational name for a breeder, keeper of horses or a stable worker, from the Middle High German word "ros", the Old High German "hros" or the Old English pre seventh Century word "hors", meaning horse, plus the second element "mann", the Old English word for man The name may also have been used to describe a mounted soldier. The initial "H" was probably dropped as a result of Northern dialectal differences in pronunciation, hence, "OPrsman". The surname first appears in the late 13th Century as "Horseman", (see below). Robert le Horsman was mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1273, while one Walter Horseman was mentioned, in the same year, in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire. The Close Rolls of 1282, record one Henry le Horseman. On February 21st 1580, Elizabeth Urman married Robert Driver at Frostenden, Suffolk, while the London Church Registers record the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Orsman on July 19th 1731 and Richard and Elizabeth Orsman on June 8th 1806. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes le Horseman, which was dated 1273, Hundred Rolls of Buckinghamshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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