This name, with variant spellings Ro(u)bottom, Roobottam, Rowbotham, Roebotham, Robatham etc., is of English topographic origin for someone who lived in an overgrown valley. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'ruh', rough or uncultivated ground, plus 'bothm' bottom (used here in the transferred sense of 'dell' or the innermost part of a valley). The surname is particularly well recorded in London church registers from the mid 16th Century, (see below). On August 6th 1555 Elizabeth Rowbotham, an infant, was christened in Christ Church Greyfriars, Newgate, London, and on June 2nd 1577 Elizabeth Rowbottom was christened in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The high incidence of surname recordings in Lancashire Church Registers indicate that the name may be locational from that county. On January 4th 1796, Mary Rheubottom married Samuel Broadbent at St. Mary, Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dorythye Robotom married Robert Rowe, which was dated October 23rd 1546 in St. Michael's, Cornhill, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, Bluff King Hal, 1509 - 1547. 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.