This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of Tangmere, a locational name from a place so called in Sussex, which appeared as "Tongmere" in 680 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and as "Tangemere" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The placename is composed of the Olde English "tang", tongs, usually used to describe land in the fork of a river, and "mere", a lake; hence, the lake which has now disappeared may have had a shape that resembled a pair of tongs. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, resulting in a wide dispersal of the name in a number of different spellings. Early examples include the marriage of Robert Tranckmer and Elizabeth Roche on December 14th 1635, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London; and the christening of Sarah, daughter of Roger Trangmar, which occurred on June 2nd 1689, at Brighton, in Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Trankmer, which was dated March 12th 1567, a christening witness at Wivelsfield, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.