This interesting and unusual surname has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, as a topographical name for someone who lived by a plum tree, from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "plume", plum (tree). Alternatively, it may be of Old French origin, as a metonymic occupational name for a plumber, from the Old French "plomb", itself from the Latin "plumbum", meaning lead. This was later assimilated to the Old French "plummier", a plumber. Other surnames from this source include Plum, Plumbe and Plum(p)tre(e). The surname itself is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), while one Simon Plumbe is mentioned in 1251, in Records of the Abbey of Ramsey (Huntingdonshire). John Ploumbe is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327, and Ralph Ploome is listed in 1327 in the Subsidy Rolls of Derbyshire. A Coat of Arms was granted on June 10th 1563 to a family called "Plumbe" in Kent, depicting a black bend vair cotised on an ermine shield. Lendall Plome was christened on May 8th 1580 at St. Michael's, Cornhill, London, while John Plumb married Ann Gabrill on April 22nd 1664 at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Plumbe, which was dated 1208, in the "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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