Recorded in at least three spellings Notman, Noteman, and Nutman, this interesting surname is medieval English. It is or rather was, an occupational name for a merchant of nuts, herbs, and spices, the derivation being from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hnutu" plus the suffix "mann" which in this context defines the occupation. Had the original name holder been called "hnutr" on its own, the modern surnames of Nott or Knott, this would have been an original nickname for a person with a "hard head", a complimentary name carried by several early kings, including the famous (if nowdays incorrectly spelt), Canute.The occupation of nut merchant was extremely important in ancient times, and remained so until the invention of electrical freezing in the 19th century. Nuts and herbs formed a major part of the diet of the people of Nothern Europe, at a time when for most of the year, the keeping or availability of fresh vegetables was not possible. This is a very early surname, one of the first on record dates back to the very beginings of hereditary surnames. Examples of these recordings taken from authentic surviving rolls, charters, and registers include: Richard Notman of Buckingham in the Hundred Rolls of the county for the year 1273, William Nuteman in the Hundred Rolls of Lincoln for 1275, and later in 1634, Isabell, the daughter of William Nutman, who was christened at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 31st of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of John Noteman. This was dated 1272, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Cambridge during the reign of King Edward 1st of England. He was known, for good reason, as "The Hammer of the Scots", and reigned from 1272 to 1307.
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