This interesting surname is one of the many English names which have originated from English placenames, which were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. This particular name derives from "Tranmere", a district within the borough of Birkenhead, Cheshire. The placename, recorded as "Tranemor" in the County Court, City Court and Eyre Rolls of Chester in 1260, is composed of the old Norse elements "trani", meaning crane, plus "melr", sandbank. The surname itself first appears in the Yorkshire Church Registers in the mid 16th Century (see below). Eileen Tranmer, daughter of Henry Tranmer was christened at Hackness, Yorkshire on May 1st 1571. The earliest appearance of the name in London Church Registers is on November 11th 1579 when one John Tranmore married Margarett White at St. Giles Cripplegate. John Tranmore married Susan Smartwoode also at St. Giles Cripplegate, London on July 6th 1580. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francis Tranmer, which was dated February 22nd 1568, christening witness at Hackness, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, "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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