Woolliams is an interesting example of how a name may derive from two distinct sources. One possibility is the topographical name 'Wolland' from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'woh' meaning curved or crooked land and 'land' (land). Thus Wooland would have indicated 'a dweller by the curved or crookened land'. On the other hand Woolam maybe a variant form of William, the Olde English personal name composed of the German elements 'wil' (will, desire) and 'helm' (helmet, protection). This was introduced into England at the time of the Conquest and with in a short period of time, enjoyed great popularity as a given name. On April 10th, 1575, Jane Woolam was christened at St. Mary's, White Chapel, Stepney, London. At Christ Church in Stepney, one Mary Woolams was christened on July 6th, 1671, London. William Howdell Woollam was christened on May 11th,1806, at St. Lukes, Old Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Samuel Wollams, which was dated 1637, Register of Freeman, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Charles I, The Martyr, 1625 - 1649. 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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