According to The Daily Mail and express.co.uk, someone called Father Christmas was laid to rest in a churchyard in the village of Dedham, Essex, on May 30, 1564.
An entry in the parish record for that month, reads: “The 30th Day, Father Christmas was buried.”
A spokesperson for Essex Records Office confirmed it was no joke and that careful research had uncovered a whole host of Christmas family members living in Essex.
Christmas was not an uncommon surname in the area around that time, according to the spokesperson.
“It appears with some frequency in north Essex and south Suffolk and by 1881 the name was still largely concentrated in the south east of England,” he said.
He also said, “The title ‘father’ is most likely the usage given in The Oxford English Dictionary as ‘a respectful title given to an old and venerable man.'”