This interesting surname, with variant spellings Slocomb, Slocum, Slocumb and Slocom, widely recorded in Devonshire Church Registers from the mid 16th Century is of locational origin either from Slocum on the Isle of Wight or from Slocombe (slade), a hamlet near Brendon in north Devonshire. Both places are so named from the old English pre 7th Century "slah" meaning "sloe", plus the old English "cumb", an early loan word from the Celtic "cwm", a deep narrow valley. Placenames containing the latter element are especially widespread in the south-west of England, the reason being that narrow valleys of the coomb type are very common there. On November 8th 1544 Alson, daughter of Phillippe Slocombe was christened in Barnstaple, and on August 4th 1552 the christening of Elizabeth Slocomb, took place in Shirwell. In 1564 one, Henry Slocum or Sloocume was entered in the "Oxford University Register". A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three gold wings on a red fess between three black griffins' heads couped - all on a silver shield. A red griffin's head between two gold expanded wings is on the crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Slocombe, (christening), which was dated March 1542, at East Down near Barnstaple, Devon, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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