This surname NEASHAM is of the category of surnames deriving from the place that the original bearer of the name actually lived. In this case, one who came from Neasham, the town of the place in County Durham, four miles east of Darlington. The name was derived from the Old English word NEASHAMM, literally meaning the dweller on the flat, low lying land, or homestead. Early records of the name mention NESHAM (without surname) who was documented in the year 1185, County Durham. Edward Neasham of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Habitation names are derived from names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named places, which include rivers, houses with signs on them, regions, or whole counties. The original bearer of the name who stayed in his area might be known by the name of his farm, or the locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of that county or the region from which he originated. The name was taken to Ireland by early settlers where it is Gaelicized as Mac Naois, a shortened form of MacAoghuis, meaning the son of Angus. There are many variant spellings of the name which include Neeson, Neasom, and Nesham. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Stockton, County Durham (Nesham).
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