This is an English locational name from a number of places thus called. North and South Witham in Lincolnshire derive their name from the river on which they stand (the name "Witham" coming from the Welsh adjective "gwydd" meaning "uncultivated (marsh land)". Witham in Essex and Somerset derive their name from the Welsh noun "gwydd" meaning "trees" or "goose" (depending on the inflected form) and the Olde English element "ham" meaning a "homestead". The name was originally given to one resident in any of these places. One Thomas Withams married Mary Wood in 1780 at Toleshunt D'arcy, Essex. In the modern idiom, the name is spelt W(h)itham, Whittome, Whittum or Whittem. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Wytham - "the King's Chaplain". which was dated 1286 - The Calander of Patent Rolls of London. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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.