This unusual name has many alternative spellings, including Isham, Easom, Easome, Essam, Easum and Esom, however the origin is believed to be locational and to derive from the town of Heysham in North Lancashire, although it has also been suggested that the name is a dialectal transposition of East Ham, found in both London and Cheshire. Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The name development has included Zacheus Isham (1644) Wandsworth, London, Jane Eshom who married Philemon Saunders at St. Dunstans Stepney in 1707, and Susannah Essam who was baptised at Sunbury on Thames on December 10th 1786. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Zacharius Easom. which was dated 1585, baptised at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.