This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an early medieval variant of the locational surname "Woddham" or "Woddam". The name derives from any of the various places called "Woodham" in Buckinghamshire, Essex, Surrey and Durham. The place in Buckinghamshire means "the wood at the water-meadow", from the Old English pre 7th Century "wudu", wood, with "hamm", water- meadow. The other places, recorded variously in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Udeham", "Odeham" and "Wdeham", share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the settlement in the wood", from the Old English "wudu", wood, with "ham", homestead, settlement. The modern surname can be found as Woodham, Wodham, Wadham(s) and Waddam(s), the plural forms being the genitive, meaning "of Woodham (Wadham)". The marriage of John Waddams and Martha Collop was recorded at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London, on July 27th 1606. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de Wudeham, which was dated 1170, The Essex Pipe Roll, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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