Last name: Amber
This interesting name may derive from the river "Amber", in Derbyshire, recorded "Ambre" in 1191, according to the Index to the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum, which means, "the river", from the Sanskrit word "ambhas", water and the Latin "imber", shower. The name may also owe its origin to any of the placenames, "Ambergate" (on the Amber River), "Amberden" (Essex) and "Amberley" (Gloucester) both from the Old English "amore", the name of a bird, plus "-den", pasture and "-ley", wood; or "Ambersham" (Sussex) which gets its name from the Old English personal name "Embre", and "-ham", village, homestead. The surname first appears in Yorkshire church Records in the mid 16th Century, (see below). The London Church Registers record the christening of one William, son of John Umber on January 13th 1575 at St. James Clerkenwell; and the christening of Agnes, daughter Hugh Umber, there also, on July 6th 1573. One Agnes Amber married William Watherherd on April 7th 1594 at Thorne in Yorkshire. Henry, son of Walter Amber was christened at St. Mary Woolnoth, London on December 21st 1606. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Amber married Richard Wood, which was dated July 26th 1540, at Halifax, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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.
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