This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is lcoational from a place so called in Kent, which was originally the name of a river. The first element seems to be derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "rum", spacious, but its formation and meaning are obscure. The second element is derived from the Old English "ea", river. The placename was first recorded as "Rumenea" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of Essex in 1052. A derivative of Romney is found recorded as "Ruminingseta" in the Saxon Charters of 697, and means "the fold of the Romney people". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Romney and Rumney. An early emigrant to America was one Thomas Romney, aged nineteen years, who set sail from London on the "Speedwell", bound for "Virginea" in May 1635. The christening was recorded in Kent of Daniell, son of Richard Romney, on December 8th 1594 at Davington. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Romenel, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book of Kent, during the reign of King William 1, "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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.