This interesting surname with variant spellings Osman, Osmant, Osment, Osmint, Osmer, Usmar comes from the Old English pre 7th Century male personal name Osmaer, "oss" meaning god and "maer" fame; hence "god-fame". The name Osmar and Osmer (without surname) appears in the Domesday Book of 1086, for Leicestershire and Devonshire respectively but the surname doesn't appear until the early part of the 13th Century. On July 15th 1571, Mary Hosmer, daughter of Richard Hosmer, was christened in Brenchley, Kent, and on September 18th 1580, a Jane Hosmer was christened there also. In April 1635, one, James Hosmer, a clothier, aged 28, his wife Ann and two daughters Marie, age 2, and Ann, (3 months) embarked from London on the "Elizabeth" bound for New England. They were among the earliest recorded name bearers to settle in America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Osmere, which was dated 1230, in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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