Æthelmund is an Old English masculine name formed from the elements æðel ‘noble’ and mund ‘protection’. The name had been widely used in England since the eighth century, but by the end of the tenth century was perhaps becoming both less common and geographically restricted to western Mercia: the only Æthelmunds currently recorded in PASE who were active after 980 were a Gloucestershire thegn of the 970s and 980s (Æthelmund 22 and 23) and a charter witness of the 1060s (Æthelmund 24) who may have been identical with Æthelmund 33 identified below. The sparing use of the name among TRE landowners is broadly in line with that pattern.
The name was spelled in seven different ways in DB. The form Edelmundus is the clearest indication that the traditional form normalized as Æthelmund was still current (with the written letter d standing for ð). The forms Ailmundus and Æilmundus represent the way that Æthelmund was pronounced in the eleventh century.
Spellings in Almund(us) (and the variant Almunt) and Elmund(us) could in theory stand for either Æthelmund or Ealhmund, but the identification of Æthelmund 33 proposed below carries the implication that all the instances of those spellings in the west Midlands referred to him, a matter on which von Feilitzen (1937: 149 and note) was unnecessarily cautious. The instances of Almund and Almunt in Yorkshire, however, have been left as Almund, on the grounds that the name Ealhmund was certainly current in the shire in 1066.
von Feilitzen 1937: Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book, Nomina Germanica 3 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1937)
Spellings in Domesday Book: Edelmundus, Æilmundus, Ailmundus, Elmund; Almund(us), Almunt and Elmund(us)
Forms in modern scholarship:
von Feilitzen head forms: Æthelmund
Phillimore edition: Almund, Aethelmund
Alecto edition: Æthelmund, Almund