This surname can truly be described as international, in that it is recorded in its various relevant spellings in every European country. These spelling forms include Ram, Ramm, Ramas, Ramos, Rampling, Ramard, Ramsier, as well as many diminutive forms. To add to the confusion there are three quite separate meanings and origins, which may or may not, mean the samething in each different country! In general the surnames Ram, Ramm and Ramme were originally nicknames for a lusty man, although as Ramsier and Ramser it may refer to a shepherd, or possibly somebody who lived at an inn with the sign of the Ram. The surnames Ramm, Rama, Ramas and Ramos may have the same meaning or may derive from the word 'raim' meaning a thickly wooded area, and describing one who lived at such a place. Finally the name can be locational for a person who lived by a 'ram'. This was a pre 7th century Scandinavian word used by the Vikings to meaning a boundary post, and again recorded throughout northern Europe. What is certain is that this is one of the earliest of all surnames, and examples taken from the civil registers include Geoffrey Ramsier of Essex, England, in the year 1274, Konrad Rame of Eblingen, Germany, in 1350, and Claus Rams, also of Eblingen, in 1377. Slightly later church recordings include Juan Ramos of Nuestra Senora la Antigua, Valladolid, Spain, on October 9th 1535, and Joan Pau Ramo, at Santa Maria, Mataro, Barcelona, on January 6th 1552. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hendricus Ram, which was dated 1188, in the register of the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, England, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The church builder', 1154 - 1189. 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.