This unusual and intriguing name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for someone who worked on a ditch or dike. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "dic" meaning ditch or dike, plus "mann",man, often, "workman". Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation and later became hereditary. The suffix "mann" may also imply "one who lived near", so Dishman can also be a topographical name for "one who lived near a ditch". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). One Thomas Dekeman appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1327). The surname may also be found in the variant spellings Disman, Dickman, Dishmon and Dissman. On January 22nd 1822, Elizabeth, daughter of John and Ann Dishman, was christened at the church of St. John Horseledowns, Bermondsey, London and Alfred Charles, son of George and Harriet Dishman, was christened at St. Mary's Church, St. Marylebone Rd., London on October 15th 1843. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Dikeman, which was dated 1206, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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