This unusual name is one of the many variant forms of the more familiar surname 'Haslam', which is of Anglo-Saxon origin and can be either a locational or a topographical name. As a locational name, it derives from the place called 'Haslam' in Lancashire, and as a topographical name 'Haslam' denotes residence by or in a copse of hazels. The derivation for both of these sources is from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'haeshim', the (dative) plural form of 'haesel', hazel. The modern surname can be found in a variety of forms, ranging from Haslam, Haslem, Hashim, Haslen and Heslam to Aslem, Aslen, Aslam, Ouslam and Ouslem. The christening of Rebecca Ouslem was recorded at Leek in Staffordshire on May 29th 1723, and one William Ouselem married Sarah Till on October 9th 1809 at Bucknall cum Bagnall, Staffordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Haskim, de Hesellum (witness), which was dated 1246, The Lancashire Assize Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, '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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