This interesting surname is a variant of "Witham" an English locational name from a number of places thus called. North and South Witham in Lincolnshire derive their name from the river on which they stand (the name "Witham" coming from the Welsh adjective "gwydd" meaning "uncultivated (marsh land)". Witham in Essex and Somerset derive their name from the Welsh noun "gwydd" meaning "trees" or "goose" (depending on the inflected form) and the Olde English element "ham" meaning a "homestead". The name was originally given to one resident in any of these places. Daniel Whiteham married Hannah Oldham at Moltram in Longdendale, Cheshire on October 13th 1765 while at Cheadle, Cheshire, Elizabeth Whitham married Samuel Marsland on November 7th 1830. On February 18th 1879, Benjamin Franklin, son of James and Margaret Whitham was baptised at Reddish, Cheshire". In the modern idiom, the name is spelt W(h)itham, Whittome, Whittum or Whittem. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Wytham - "the King's Chaplain", which was dated 1286 - The Calender of Patent Rolls of London, 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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