Recorded in many forms but especially Ramsbottom, Ramsbotham and Ramsbotton, this is a famous Lancashire surname. It is locational from the town of Ramsbbottom, described by the famous etymologist canon Charles Bardsley writing in 1880, as 'a populous village in the township of Tottington-Lower-End in the ancient parish of Bury'. The name has nothing to to do with 'rams' in any form, the derivation being from the pre 7th century Olde English word 'hramsa' meaning garlic and 'bopm', which strictly speaking means land at the bottom of a valley suitable for agriculture. It has to be assumed that the weather fifteen hundred years ago must have been much warmer for garlic to grow so far north in England. The surname is locational which means that it was probably a 'from' name. That is to say a name given to a person after he or she had left Ramsbottom and moved somewhere else. The easiest way in ancient times to identfy strangers was to call them by the bname from whence they came. In this case an early recording is that of Adam Ramsbotham of Rossendale who appears in the Wills List of the city of Chester in 1556, whilst William Romesbotham appears in the list of members of the famous Preston Guilds in 1602.
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