Recorded in several spelling as shown below, this is an English surname. It has two possible origin. The first and most likely is locational from the village of Neasham in County Durham. This place name is pre 7th century in origin from the Olde English "nes ham." This translates as "The house on the headland" or possibly on the bend of a river. A second possible origin is again from the word ness, but this time used as a (nick)name for a person with a prominent nose! The village is first recorded as Neesham in 1158, and as Nesham in the Yorkshire Pipe Rolls of the year 1202. In the modern idiom the surname spellings include: Neesham, Neesam, Neasham, Neasam, Neesom, Neeson, Neison, Nison, Nissen, and others. Famous name holders include Admiral Christopher Nesham (1771 - 1843) who captured Martinique in 1809. An early recording of the family name is that John Neeson who married Elinor Hodgekins at St Giles Crippleagte on February 2nd 1634, and Elizabeth Neesham, who married Stephen Loddington at St. Mary's, Putney, on May 3rd 1661. This was during the reign of King Charles 1lnd of England, and known to history and with good reason to many of his supporters as "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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.