The village of Sandholme in the Humber Estuary (East Riding of Yorkshire) is believed to be the place of origin of this surname. However it is equally possible that the name is habitational from the elements "sand" meaning "sandy" and "holmr" an island, although "island" probably refers to an area of land which is predominantly "sand". Either way the name is Old English pre 7th Century, with a dash of Norse-Viking, "holme" appearing in both languages in this period. A suggestion that the name could derive from a "lost" village is given credence by the fact that the earliest recordings are in London. This often happened when a village was destroyed by plague, famine agriculture, or possibly, in this case by the sea. Recordings include Mary Sandom at Southwark, in 1660, and Jana Sandham, christened at St. Martins in the Field on January 26th 1672. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Sandum, which was dated January 1st 1640, a witness at St. Botolphs Church, London, during the reign of King Charles 1, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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