GARDHAM (GARDAM) an East Yorkshire place name and surname. The lost village of Gardham in Cherry Burton parish gave rise to the surname, though there is a hamlet of the same name nearby.
In spite of the modern spelling Gardham is not a ‘-ham’ name, like for instance Cottingham, ‘homestead of Cotta’s kin’. The name derives from the Old Scandinavian gerði, meaning ‘fence, enclosure’. Early forms of village name given by Ekwall (“English Place Names”) are Gerthum, 1303, and Gerthom 1357. The ending informs that the meaning is something like ‘[place] at the fences’ or ‘at the enclosures’.
The earliest instance of the surname I have found occurs in Rosemary Horrox’ “The Changing Plan of Hull, 1290-1650” (Hull, 1975) –
Joan Garthom is listed as a tenant in Scale Lane, Hull, in 1455.
William Gartham was a governor of Beverley, 1466-7
Thomas Garthom, yeoman, was a freeman of York, 1469
John Garthome, tiler, was freeman of York, 1542.
Ezekiel, son of Peter Garthom, was baptised at Holy Trinity, Hull, January 1731; and Thomas Gartham married Ann Preston at Holy Trinity in August 1737.
David Neave’s “South Cave” notes a farming family recorded in the South Cave parish register from the early 18th to the late 19th century.
A.A. Clarke’s “Country Coppers names two men surnamed Gardam in the East Riding Police Force; James, from May 1862, and William, from April 1876.
A man named Gardam was one of the bricklayers’ labourers delegates to the Hull Trades Council, 1904 (Hull Trades Council Yearbook).


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