Last name: Armour

This interesting and unusual surname, recorded as Armor, Armour, Armer, Larmour and Larmer, is of early medieval English and Scottish origin, and is from a metonymic occupational name for a maker of arms and armour, from the Middle English (1200 - 1500), and the Old French "armure", from the Late Latin "armatura", a derivative of "arma", arms; this was used of offensive weapons as well as defensive clothing. The ending of the vocabulary word and surname has been assimilated to the agent suffix "-o(u)r", and there has been some confusion with Armer, which is also from an occupational name for a maker of arms, in this case derived from the Anglo-Norman French "armer". Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include: Simon Larmourer, in the 1334 Calendar of Letter Books of Essex; and John Armar, who was a voter in Monkland in 1519. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Roger, son of John Armour, in May 1595, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the christening of Samuell, son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Armour, on November 6th 1651, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gwydo le Armerer, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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