Recorded in a very wide variety of spellings including Tincomb, Tincombe, Tincam, Tinkum, Tinkham Tinckombe, Tingcombe, and no doubt others, this is an English surname. From early recordings which we have discovered in surviving church registers, the original spelling could have been the pre 7th century Olde English 'tynincel' meaning a small farm, plus either 'cum' meaning a valley or 'ham', a hamlet or village. What is certainly the case is that we have the traditional hallmarks of a surname from a 'lost' medieval village. It is estimated that some three thousand British surnames originate from 'lost' villages, that is to say villages that existed centuries ago, but which have now totally disappeared from any modern gazetter, and whose site is a matter of conjecture. As to why they vanished is a major subject in itsself, but the usual reasons are changes in agricultural practice, although plague, war, land drainage, and in many cases coastal erosion, have also played a part. When a village 'disappeared', its inhabitants were scattered, leading to a wide dispersion, and as in this case, a an equally wide transposition of the spelling. Early examples of the name recording taken from the London church registers include James Tinncome, who married Alyce Hygate at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on July 30th 1598, and Elizabeth Tinkham who married John Gross at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 29th 1605.
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