Early Origins of the Balsham family
The surname Balsham was first found in 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 Balsham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balsham research.Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1317, 1523 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Balsham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Balsham Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Balsom, Balsam, Balsham, Balson, Ballsom, Ballsam and many more.
Early Notables of the Balsham family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Balsham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Balsham family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Balsham 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.