This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any one of the various places called "Woodham" in Buckinghamshire, County Durham, Essex, and Surrey. The place in Buckinghamshire was originally named "Hamm", from the Old English pre 7th Century "Hamm", water meadow, while the place in Durham was recorded as "Wodon" in 1091 and derives from the dative plural of the Old English "wudu", wood, "wudum". The places in Essex, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Udeham", "Odeham" and "Wdeham", and that in Surrey, as "Wodeham" in 675, share the same meaning and derivation; "the homestead in the wood", from the Old English "wudu", wood, with "ham", estate, home-stead. The modern surname can be found as Woodham(s) and Wodham(s). The marriage of Gaulfridus Woodham and Jaanam Fuller was recorded at Ingatestone in Essex on July 1st 1594. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de Wudeham, which was dated 1170, The Essex Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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