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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Oldham first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in Oldham, in Lancashire. This was a town near the city of Manchester; it has since been absorbed by that city. The place-name Oldham is derived from the Old English elements old, which means old, and ham, which means farm. The place-name therefore translates as "the old farm." Alternatively, Oldham could have meant "dweller by the long-cultivate river flat." 
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Oldham has appeared include Oldham, Oldum, Oldan, Oldhams and others.
First found in Lancashire at Oldham, an enfranchised borough, a parochial chapelry, and the head of a union, in the parish of Prestwich, hundred of Salford. Now part of Greater Manchester, the first record of the placename was found in 1226-1228 when it was listed as Aldholm.  "Oldham was for a long period celebrated for the manufacture of hats, which was established so early as the fifteenth century."  Another possible origin of the name was found. "This place [(Werneth, Lancashire) which adjoins to the town of Oldham], anciently Fernet, was held in the reign of Henry III. by Alwardus de Aldholme, founder of the family of Oldham. His daughter and co-heiress conveyed the manor to the Cudworths, a branch of a Yorkshire family; and from them the estate passed by sale to Sir Ralph Assheton, of Middleton."  We can only assume that both sources are referring to that same family at different times. Early rolls list the first record of the name not in Lancashire but as Achard de Aldeham in the Feet of Fines for Kent. Richard de Oldham was listed in Lancashire in 1384.  The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Agnes de Oldom and Robertus de Oldom. 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oldham research. Another 207 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1486, 1480, 1505, 1486, 1480, 1452, 1519, 1653 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Oldham History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oldham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Oldham arrived in North America very early:
Oldham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Oldham (c. 1600-1636) who emigrated to Plymouth in 1623, was involved in establishing the unsuccessful settlement on Cape Ann (1626), and was murdered by the Pequot in an event leading to the Pequot War (1637)
- Margaret Oldham, who landed in America in 1620
- James Oldham, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
- John Oldham, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
- Lucretia Oldham, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
Oldham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Charles, George, Hugh, James, John, Robert, and William Oldham all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
- Alice Oldham, aged 22, arrived in New York in 1864
- Eliza Oldham, aged 6, landed in New York in 1864
- Ellen Oldham, aged 16, arrived in New York in 1864
- Maria Oldham, aged 47, arrived in New York in 1864
Oldham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- John Oldham, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Frederick Bagot Oldham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Goderich" in 1838
- William Oldham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Goderich" in 1838
- Sarah Oldham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lord Goderich" in 1838
- Maria Oldham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ceylon" in 1850
Oldham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Alfred Oldham arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
- Elizabeth Oldham arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
- Frank Oldham arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
- William Oldham arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
- Herbert Oldham arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
- Williamson Simpson Oldham (1813-1868), American politician, Member of Arkansas State Legislature, 1838; Justice of Arkansas State Supreme Court, 1842; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Arkansas, 1846
- William Kavanaugh Oldham (1865-1938), American Democrat politician, Planter; Member of Arkansas State House of Representatives, 1907; Member of Arkansas State Senate, 1911-13; Governor of Arkansas, 1913
- W. K. Oldham, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1944
- W. D. Oldham, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 1916
- Samuel E. Oldham, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, 1921-25
- Robert P. Oldham, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1924
- Naomi H. Oldham, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1932, 1944
- L. E. Oldham, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Mississippi, 1940
- Leigh Oldham, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Fort Worth, Texas, 1859
- John Oldham, American Republican politician, Chair of Massac County Republican Party, 2002
- My Mother Nancy and Her Oldhams by Jessye Ann High.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
- Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
- Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
- Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
- Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
- Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
The Oldham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Oldham Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 29 February 2016 at 15:33.
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