Recorded in several forms including Allam, Allom and Allum, this is a surname which depending on where it is found, can be or may be, either English, Scottish or Irish! In England the name is believed to derive from the Olde English pre 7th century word "ealh" meaning a pagan temple, plus "ham", a meadow or piece of enclosed land. As such the the surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of the county of Surrey from Elizabethan times. If Scottish and Northern Irish the derivation is a shortened or fused form of the famous clan names McCallum meaning the son of Calam, an ancient personal name, or McCallan, meaning the son of Allan. Early examples of the surname recording include Margery Allam who married Robert Burges at St. Olave's Church, Southwark, on November 28th 1644, and Olave Allom who was christened at St. Giles Cripplegate on November 1st 1699, both appearing in the surviving registers of the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the surname anywhere is possibly that of Dungall M'Alayne of the barony of Buittle in Stirlingshire, in the year 1376. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.