Recorded it is said as Pagram, Peagram, Peagrim, Pegram, Peregrin, Pilgram, Pilgrim and possibly others, this most interesting surname is (in these spellings) of medieval English origins. It does however ultimately originate from the Roman (Latin) word pergrinus, meaning a traveller, or perhaps a stranger from foreign parts. The form as Pilgrim from which most spellings are said to originate from about the 12th century was a nickname for a person who had made, or at least claimed to have made, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, or a recognized place of sanctity such as Rome. Surprisingly it would seem that pilgrimages were not always voluntary, sometimes they were imposed by the church as penalty for a grave sin, presumably on the basis that the penitent would be lucky to return! However criminality has always held a place in society then as now, and a thriving trade grew up for 'professional' pilgrims who were paid to serve the sentence. Finally Pelegrinus was also used as a first name of endearment in the Middle Ages, and it is certain that some modern nameholders originate from this source. Early examples of English surname recordings include William Pegerim in the Curia Regis rolls of the county of Dorset in the year 1199, whilst the Assize Court rolls of the county of Somerset mention Robert Peregrine in 1243. Later examples taken from surviving church registers of the ancient city of London include Margery Pegram who married William Simpson on September 18th 1582 at St. Lawrence Jewry, and James Pagram who married Ann Ansell on March 3rd 1806 at Tottenham Parish Church. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Pilegrim. This was dated 1185, in the register of the Knight Templars (Crusaders) of England in the 12th Century, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Church Builder", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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