Recorded in the spellings of Yeoman, Yeman, and Yeomans, this is a very traditional English surname. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "geong" meaning "young", plus "mann", meaning a worker. Over the centuries this developed into a status name for an attendant in a noble household, ranking between a squire and a page. Still later in the post-medieval period it came to be used to describe a freeholder farmer as distinct from a tenant. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century, and early examples taken from surviving authentic rolls and charters include: Johannes Yomanne in the Poll Tax returns of the county of Yorkshire in 1379, and Thomas le Yomon in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Staffordshire for 1381. Yeomans, the patronymic form of the surname, is particularly well recorded from the 16th century, the final "s" being a reduced form of "son of". These recordings include: Richard Yeomans and Katherine Smith, who were married at the church of St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, in the ancient city of London, on November 30th 1558, whilst on December 1st 1565, Richardus Yeomans married Helena Clarke at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Yeoman. This was dated 1332, in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation from the 12th century.
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