This interesting surname, with variant spellings Plome, Plombe, Plum, Plumb, plume, etc., has two distinct possible origins. Firstly, it may be of topographical origin for a "dweller by a plum tree" deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "plume" meaning plum. It may also have originated from the Anglo-Norman French "plom(b)" meaning lead, and would have been a metonymic occupational name for a worker in lead, especially a maker of lead pipes and conduits. It may also have been an occupational name for a dealer in feathers deriving from the Middle English "plume", feathers. The surname is first found in the early 13th Century, (see below). One, John Ploumbe, is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk (1327) and Ralph Plomme, appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Derbyshire (1327). Other recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; Joannes Plome, who married Helena Stevenson on January 31st 1559, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster; the christening of Elizabeth Plom on December 28th, at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney; and Jone, daughter of Thomas Plom, was christened on November 6th 1636, at St. Giles Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Plumbe, which was dated 1208, Charter Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King John known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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