There are two possible sources of this unusual and interesting name, the first being that it is a medieval occupational name for a person responsible for removing the wool from the 'cards' in the process of combing the wool drive to spinning it. The derivation is from a Middle English 12th Century word 'toom', (Halliwell's Dictionary of Acchaic and Provincial Words). However it is possible that it is a locational name from a place in France called St. Omer, and of course there is a likelihood that the first people to introduce the process of carding wool came from France. The name in its present form is obviously a dialectal variant of St. Omer, and it was customary during the Middle Ages for people on leaving their birth place to adopt the place name as a means of identification. Two early recordings of the name in London are one George Toomer christened on the 3rd January 1685 at St. Bride, Fleet Street, and John Toomer married Elizabeth Cooke on 14th April 1635 at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Tomere, which was dated 1327, Kirby's Records, Somerset, during the reign of King Edward III, The Father of the Navy, 1327 - 1377. 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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