Early Origins of the Ballsam family
Cambridgeshire at Balsham, a rural village and civil parish which dates back to Saxon times when it was known as Bellesham in 974. In 1015, Balsham was destroyed by Viking raiders and a marker on the village green commemorates the sole survivor of the attack who escaped by hiding in the parish church. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the village was known as Belesham CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8) and literally meant "homestead or village of a man called Baelli," from the Old English personal name + "ham." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4) At that time, Balsham was a small village with a Mill. Hugh de Balsham (died 1286), a Benedictine monk was Bishop of Ely and founder of Peter-house College, Cambridge. He was born and is interred here. A brass in the church at Balsham, Cambridgeshire of the bishop can still be seen today. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Balsham who was a Norman noble named Hardwin of Scales who held his lands from the Abbot of Ely who was recorded in the Domesday Book.
Early History of the Ballsam family
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Ballsam Spelling Variations
spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Balsom, Balsam, Balsham, Balson, Ballsom, Ballsam and many more.
Early Notables of the Ballsam family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Ballsam family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ballsam or a variant listed above: Anna Barbara Balsam, who came to America in 1750; Elisabetha Balsam, who settled in America in 1750; Frederick Balsam, who settled in Kansas in 1900; Johann Peter Balsam, who settled in America in 1750.
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