Recorded in the spellings of Tanman, Tenman, Tinham, Tinman, Tineman, Townman, Tunman, Tynam, this is an English surname. It is almost certainly locational, and however spelt, not occupational, and it is claimed that it derives from the village of Tyneham, in the county of Dorset, or possibly the River Tyne in Northumberland. Tyneham is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Tingeham", and as "Tynham" in the Charter Rolls of 1280. The River Tyne is recorded as Tina in Roman times, and as Tinam in the year 1130.The river name actually means 'river' but the village name means 'goat farm' from the pre 7th century Olde English "tige", meaning goat, and "ham", a homestead or farm. Locational surnames arme 'from' names, and were usually given to former inhabitants of a place, who moved to another area. This action in turn led to a wide dispersal of the name, and the development of variations in the spelling. Early examples of the the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include: the marriage of Nicholas Tynam and Eleanar Clarke, at Old Sodbury, Gloucestershire, on April 28th 1606, and the marriage of Anthony Tinham and Frances Young on January 1st 1698 at St. Edmund's, Salisbury, in Wiltshire. Other recordings include Elizabeth Tunman, who married Robert Booth at St James church, Clerkenwell, and George Tinman, a witness at St Margaret's Ludgate, on October 14th 1706, both city of London. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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