This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either Saltmarsh in Herefordshire, or from Saltmarshe in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Saltmarsh in Herefordshire is recorded as "Saltemers" in the 1130 Pipe Rolls of the county, and Saltmarshe in Yorkshire is recorded as "Saltmersc" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "salt, sealt", salt, and "mersc", marsh; hence, "salt marsh". The first place is inland, and some salt springs must have given rise to the name, the second is on the tidal Ouse. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Geofrey de Saltmarais is noted in the 1219 Assize Rolls of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Saltmarsh and Saltmarshe. On April 7th 1589, Robert, son of Robert Saltmarsh, was christened at Howden, Yorkshire, and William Saltmarsh married Joan Smyth on February 7th 1604, at Enfield, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a red shield, on a silver bend between two gold cotises, three black escallops. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Saltemers, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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