This interesting surname, with variant spellings Outran, Owtram, and Owttrim, is a contracted form of Outerham, a topographical name originally given to one residing outside of the main settlement. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ut" meaning out in the sense of outer or external, plus "ham" a village, estate, manor or homestead. Recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include: Elizabeth Outrum, who married John Freeze on August 15th 1637, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; William, son of Christofer Outram, who was christened on May 6th 1642, at St.Giles' Cripplegate; and Jone Outram, who married Michael Knight on February 23rd 1657, at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf. One of the earliest landowners in the new World was, Robert Outram, recorded as having 10 acres in the parish of Christ Church in the Barbados, on December 22nd 1679. A Coat of Arms granted to the Outram family depicts a red embattled chevron charged with five gold escallops between three red crosses on a gold shield. On the Crest there is a gold demi lion emerging from an eastern crown with a green laurel wreath around his throat and holding in his hand a red cross. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Outram, which was dated April 10th 1601, witness at a christening, at Wath upon Dearne, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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