Last name: Kempton

This interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational surname. It originates from the the village of Kempton in the county of Shropshire, or possibly in a few cases from Kempton Park, in Middlesex. In both cases the place name and hence the later surname translates as "Cempa's tun" from the Olde English pre 7th century "cempa" meaning a warrior, plus "tun", an enclosure or settlement. The Shropshire placename is recorded as "Chenpitune" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as Kemptune in 1266, whilst Kempton Park also appears in the Domesday Book as Chenetone, and in 1221 as Kenitone. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. It is uncertain as to when the surame was first recorded but early examples of the recordings in surviving church records of the diocese of Greater London from Elizabethan times include the christening of Richard, son of Henry Kempton, at St. Mary Abchurch on November 27th 1580, and the marriage of Robert Kympton to Margery Woodcook at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, on December 11th 1581. A coat of arms granted to the Kempton family of Morden, in Cambridgeshire, in 1577, has the blazon of a blue field charged with a pelican, wings elevated, between three gold fleurs-de-lis. 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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