Recorded in several spellings including Timbs, Tims, Timms, Timmes, Tymms, Tyms, and Timson, this unusual and interesting surname is a medieval patronymic. It derives from the pre 7th Century personal name Tima or Timmo, short nickname forms of the early given name Dietmar. This translates as "Famous people" from the elements "theudo-meri". Early Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse baptismal names during the period of history known as The Dark Ages, from the 5th to the 12th century a.d., were often compounds whose elements were associated with the gods of Fire, Water and War. This name is a compound but seems to have a gentler background. The personal name Timothy of Greek origins and meaning "to honour god" provided nameholders as Timofeev in Russia and Tyma in Poland, but in the British Isles did not to have come into general use until after the Reformation in 1535. This would normally have made it much too late to become a surname as this surname dates from two centuries earlier (see below). Other surviving recordings include Richard Tyms, in the register of students at Oxford University in 1565, the christening of James Timms, the son of John and Priscilla Timms, on April 4th 1699, at St. Sepulchre Church, in the city of London, and the marriage of Edward Timbs and Henrietta Maria Smith at St. Antholins church, also in the city of London on July 1st 1752. The first known recording of the family name may be that of William Tymmes. This was dated 1332, in the Subsidy Tax rolls of the county of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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