This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and was used as an ethnic name to mean someone from Flanders. There was considerable trade between England and Flanders (the Netherlands) during the Middle Ages, particularly in wool, and many Flemish Weavers and dyers, who were invited to England to share their skill and knowledge, settled in various parts of the country, especially in Yorkshire and the eastern counties. The name derives from the Old French word "flamanc", a Fleming, which became "fleming" in Anglo-Norman French, and in later Old English "Flaemingi". The surname development includes Adam Flemyng (1296, Sussex), Richard Fleaming (1648, Yorkshire) and Thomas Flemin (1644, ibid.) and the modern forms include "Fleming", "Flemons", "Fleeman", "Flamank" and "Flament". One Mary Flamank was christened at Newton Abbot, Devonshire, on the 18th of December 1734. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Flamanc (witness), which was dated 1219, The Yorkshire Assize Court Rolls, during the reign of King Henry III, "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.