This interesting surname is a variant of Trentham, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is locational from a place so called in Staffordshire. The placename is derived from the Old British river, called the Trent and the Old English pre 7th Century 'hamm', settlement, enclosure, thus, the 'settlement on the river 'Trent'. The placename was first recorded as 'Trenham' in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as 'Trentham' in the Pipe Rolls of 1156. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Trentham, Trenham, Tranham, Trainam and Trenam. Among the sample recordings in Yorkshire are the christening of Thomas, son of John Trenam, on July 18th 1711 at Farnham, and the marriage of Thomas Trenam and Ealenor Maston on November 10th 1736 at Pickhill with Roxby. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ellenor Tranam (marriage to Mathewe Hyll), which was dated November 2nd 1572, Stainton in Cleveland, Yorkshire, 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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