This very uncommon and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a metonymic occupational surname for someone employed to clean and prepare animal intestines for a variety of purposes. The name may have been used to describe a sausage-maker, or a supplier of gut for fiddle strings. Both these usages are attested in the Middle Ages. The modern surname 'Tharm(e)', also found as 'Thorm(e)' and 'Thurm(e)', derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'tharm, thearm', intestine. The surname is also found in Germany as 'Darm', from the Old German equivalent to 'tharm', 'darm'. In England the name is found mainly in Lancashire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, and occasionally in London. The marriage of John Tharme and Anne Steele was recorded at Caverswall, Staffordshire, on February 7th 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Thorm (marriage to Elizabeth Franke), which was dated November 17th 1567, Wymondham, Leicestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 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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