This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins, the first of which is from an early medieval English nickname, found mainly in Devonshire and Somerset, for someone who lived on the far side of a tract of moorland, near the main settlement. The name could also have been for someone who knew safe routes across the moor, an important skill for those who lived on or by the sometimes treacherous moorlands of the West Country. The name derives from the Middle English "pass(en)", to pass, go across, with "more", marsh, fen. In some cases the modern surname may derive from an Anglo-Norman French nickname, "Passemer", from "passe(r)", to cross, with "mer", sea, ocean, a name for a seafarer, a sailor. There are two forms of the surname, Passmore and Pasmore. One Thomas Passmore and his wife Jane were early settlers in the Virginia colonies, arriving in the "George" out of London in 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Passemer, which was dated 1199, in the "Northamptonshire Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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.