This rare and interesting name is of English origin and is a diminutive ('little', or 'son of') variant of the name Thomas, originally a Hebrew personal name which means the twin or younger son. The name does not appear in England before the Norman Invasion of 1066. It first appears as a surname in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). An interesting namebearer was William Thomas (deceased 1554) an Italian scholar who wrote 'Principal Rules of the Italian Grammar, with Dictionary' in 1550. He became political instructor to Edward V1 but lost all his preferments at the accession of Queen Mary, took active part in Wyatts conspiracy, 1553 - 1554, was arrested, racked and accused of conspiring Mary's death, and executed. The following examples illustrate the name development of this variant, James Tamset married Amy Ford on December 24th 1682 at St. James, Dukes Place, London, and James Tamsett, the infant son of James and Jane Tamsett on February 3rd 1771 at Wandsworth. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Thomas, which was dated 1275, The Hundred Rolls, Wiltshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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