- This long-established surname is of early medieval English and Christian origin. It is either locational from the village of Abram, in the parish of Wigan, or it is a form of the Hebrew male given name "Abraham", meaning "father of a multitude ". In Britain, where the name is from this source, it was given by returning Crusaders to their sons to commemorate their visit to the Holy Land. The 1086 Domesday Book refers to Abraham, the priest, (in London), whilst in 1170 Abraham de Stradtuna was noted in the Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire. The name as a surname was never Jewish in origin, the Jews being banned from Britain until 1655. As a baptismal name 'Abraham and Abram' was used by the non-conformists of the 18th century. In Wales Abram was a popular christian name, and is still occasionally found there. Early examples of the recordings include John Abraam in the Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire in 1273, and Gilbert de Abraam in London in 1461. Later recordings include William Abram of Sephton, Lancashire, in 1617, and Sarah Abram, the daughter of Andrew and Gillian Abram, who was christened at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, London, on November 11, 1646. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a shield lozengy gold and red, on a black chief the sun in his splendour, gold, the Crest being a cap of maintenance decorated with a plume of ostrich feathers, all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Abram, which was dated 1252, in the "Chartulary of the Monastery of Ramsey", Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.