This unusual and interesting surname of many spelling variations, has two possible origins. The first is from the Latin personal name "Romanus", itself originally a pre-christian byname. This given name was however borne by several early saints, including a 7th Century bishop of Rouen. Popular in Northern France, it was introduced into England by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion. The second possible origin is from the Old French "Romeyn", this time a locational nickname for someone either from Rome, or even from Italy in general. Indeed the name could apply to one who had simply visited Rome, perhaps on a pilgrimage. The early surname development and recording in England includes William Rome of Sussex in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of that county, John Roman of Essex in the 1367 rolls of Chelmsford, John de Rome of Yorkshire in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls, and George Romans of the same county in the Friary rolls of 1636. The modern surname can be found as Rome, Roman, Romain(e) and Romayn(e), with the patronymic forms, indicating "son of Roman", being Romans, Romaines and Romaynes. Other later church recordings include the marriage of Thomas Romines and Dorathy Mattlersey at Holy Trinity, York, on January 23rd 1639, whilst Thomas Roome, the son of Thomas Roome of 'ye Parrish of St Johns, Barbadoes' was christened there on November 26th 1679. The coat of arms granted in Scotland in 1780 has the balzon of a silver field, on a blue bend between two red roses, a thistle between two fleur de lis in gold. The crest is a rose tree bearing roses proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Romayn, which was dated 1208, in the "Surrey Curia Rolls", 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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