This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a now "lost" place, thought to have been in Derbyshire, due to the large number of recordings in this county. The placename is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century river name "Hlude", from the Olde English "hlud", loud, roaring, and the Olde English "ham(m)", water-meadow, thus, water-meadow by the river Hlude. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eight of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of "clearing" large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 14th and 15th centuries. The modern surname can be found as Ludlam, Ludlamme, Ludlom and Ludlem. Among the recordings in Derbyshire are the christenings of John, son of Thomas Ludlam, on July 17th 1631 at Pinxton, and of Anthony, son of Anthony Ludlam, on November 6th 1653 at Matlock. Francis Ludlam married Mary Buxton on February 4th 1657 at Youlgreave. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robertus Ludlamme (christening) which was dated February 17th 1569, North Wingfield, Derbyshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 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.