Last name: Chamberlain
This famous and interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is an occupational name for a chamberlain, that is an official in charge of the private chambers of his master; the term was later a title of high rank. The derivation of this name is from the Old French and Anglo-Norman French "c(h)ambrelain, cambrelane, cambrelen(c)", chamberlain. The Italian cognate "camerlengo" was given to a manager of a pontifical court. The surname itself first appears in records in the mid 12th Century (see below), while other early examples include: Geoffrey le Chaumberleng, mentioned in the 1194 Curia Rolls of Wiltshire; Robert Canberlenc, recorded in the Feet of Fines in 1195; Martin le Chamberleyn in the Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire of 1232; and Thomas le Chaumberlyn, who appears in the Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire in 1293. Sir Leonard Chamberlain (died 1561) was sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire (1547 and 1552), M.P. for Scarborough (1553) and Oxfordshire (1554), and Governor of Guernsey (1553 - 1561). A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name in London depicts on a red shield with a silver orle charged with eight blue mullets a gold armillary sphere. Neville Chamberlain (1869 - 1940) was Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain (1937 - 1940) who pursued a policy of appeasement toward Germany. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry le Camberlain, which was dated circa 1154, in "Documents illustrative of the Social and Economic History of the Danelaw", by Stenton (London), during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2015
Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree
. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA
All I know so far is that my side of Chamberlain's arrived on the first four ships in Lyttleton, Christchurch, New Zealand and settled in Leeston/Springston area. I have no idea what part of England they came from. Anyone know?
From Derbyshire, UK.
Grandfather (deceased nearly 30 years ) of the name had two sons, who went on to have two sons between them which includes myself all in our mid-to-late 30's
My Grandfather Chamberlain was an only child and much of his family past is unknown.
Being European I have always assumed the French connection to being behind my surname origin.
Just think how confused I am. I was born and live in South Africa i have no clue as to how our surname got over here. any answers please? my grandpa's name was KOOS CHAMBERLAIN
I'm a Chamberlain from New York. My family has been in America since long before the civil war. My father was the only male child, and the seventh generation of only one male child. But he had 3 sons, and I have two sons. My brother two sons, my older brother one son, I have two sisters, both have 2 sons and a daughter. Plenty more Chamberlains to come. We are of English descent.
My Paternal Grandmother was a Chamberlain. Curious, she is buried somewhere in New York. She married a Irish man (Jack Breen) and was denounced from her family . She had 6 children during the depression and one of which is my dad, sadly deceased. There is no one left to share the history with me. My daughters are teenagers and love history. Gonna keep digging...
Also a Chamberlain with roots firmly in the City of Bristol
My name is Melvyn Chamberlain from West Yorkshire,with a brother John(deceased)
I'm a chamberlain with roots in Norfolk, England!
i like this website it is awesome. i love being a chamberlain