This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational surname deriving from any one of the three places called Welham, in Nottinghamshire, East Yorkshire (near Malton) and in Leicestershire. The last of these is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Walendeham', and means 'the village by the spring or river', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'wella', spring or stream, or an early form of the river name 'Welland' on which the place stands, with 'ham', village or homestead. The other two places, both 'Wellun' in the Domesday Book, mean 'the village by the stream', derived from the elements as above. The name development has included Adam de Wellome (1363, Yorkshire) and Peter Wellam (1483, ibid.). The marriage of Mark Sayer and Anne Welham was recorded at St. Mary's Aldermary in London in 1696. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Weleham, which was dated 1276, The Leicestershire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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