This interesting surname, with variant spellings Osman, Osmant, Osment, Osmint, Osmer and Usmar, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century male personal name "Osmaer", from "oss", meaning god, and "maer", fame; hence, "god-fame". Pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon, and Norse baptismal names were usually distinctive compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water and War, or composed of disparate elements. The names "Osmar" and "Osmer" (without surname) appear in the Domesday Book of 1086, for Leicestershire and Devonshire respectively, but the surname does not appear until the early part of the 13th Century (see below). Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Fanny Osment and William Batcheler on July 25th 1779, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster; the christening of Caroline, daughter of John and Esther Osment, on May 18th 1823; and the christening of Ann Charlotte Osment on July 22nd 1848, at St. Pancras' Old Church. 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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