Recorded in the spellings of Pakeman, Packman, Peakman, and Paceman, this medieval surname is job descriptive. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'pac' - meaning a bundle, and the Anglo-Saxon word 'mann', which has a variety of meanings. In this case we believe it to describe a merchant, one who sold goods from his 'pac'. In the medieval period the packman became associated with horse transport and the famous pack-horse bridge, but it seems that in early days the packman carried his goods himself. The early recordings of the surname include such examples as Simon Pacckem in the pipe rolls of Nottingham in the year 1202, a date which also coincided with King John and the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham, if such fables are to be believed. Other recordings include William Pakeman at the Somerset Assize court in the year 1278, and John Packeman of Colchester in 1352. Mary Packeman was married in London in 1580, whilst in 1669 Richard Pacman married Sara Pane at St James church, Clerkenwell, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Paccheman, which was dated 1160, in the "London Name Register List", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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