Early Origins of the Balsam 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 Balsam family
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Balsam Spelling Variations
spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Balsom, Balsam, Balsham, Balson, Ballsom, Ballsam and many more.
Early Notables of the Balsam family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Balsam family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Balsam or a variant listed above:
Balsam Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Balsam Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Balsam (post 1700)
Balsam Family Crest Products