This interesting name is first recorded in Devonshire in the 12th Century (see below), being an "import" from France. The origination is from the village of Baalon in the Meuse Valley, the letter "n" being transposed by dialect to "M" - a common feature of the conjoined language of the post Norman Conquest period. The surname has passed through many changes, Rosa Balam being recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Worcester in 1275, whilst Roger Balam was christened at the Church of St. Lawrence Pountney, London, on January 28th 1554. There was a reversion to the (near) original spelling when Henry Balaam was a witness at the Church of Saint-Mary Woolnoth, London, on February 23rd 1617, in the reign of King James 1 (1603 - 1625). The family Coat of Arms is a black shield, on a silver fesse, between three silver estoiles, three pellets, the Crest being out of a gold ducal coronet, a red demi cock wings displayed combed and wattled gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hamelinus de Baalon, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Roll Records of Devonshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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.