This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Worsham in Sussex, which was recorded as "Wyrtlesham", in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles in 772. The placename itself shares the same first element as that in "Wartling", a village not far away from Worsham, which is the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Wyrtel", with the Olde English "ham", village, manor, homestead, a common element in English placenames. In some instances the name may be from "Worsman", a variant of "Wolstenholme", a locational name from a place in Lancashire, so called from the Olde English personal name "Wulfstan", composed of the elements "wulf", wolf and "stan", stone, plus the Old Norse element "holmr", island, dry land in a fen. One Johanis Worsom, son of Roberti Worsom, was christened on September 8th 1594, at Selborne, Hampshire, while Elizabeth Worsham married Isaac Griggs on May 10th 1614, at East Hanningfield, Essex. Edmond Worsam was christened on November 21st 1641, at St. Olave's, Southwark, London, while Mary, daughter of John Worssam, was christened on February 25th 25th 1645, at Old Alresford, Hampshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Woorsnam, which was dated November 28th 1591, marriage to Katherine Manton, at St. Olave's, Hart Street, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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