Last name: Lamb

This name, with variant spelling Lambe, has three possible origins, the first being a metonymic occupational name for a keeper of Lambs deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "lamb" meaning "lamb". Alternatively, Lamb(e) may have originated as a nickname for a gentle, inoffensive person, or it may have been given as a pet form of the Medieval English personal name Lambert, from the Old German elements "land", territory, plus "berht", bright. The surname was first recorded towards the end of the 12th Century, (see below). One William le Lambe appears in "The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", dated 1273, and a Lambe de Harewude in the Manorial Records of Sheffield, Yorkshire, (1290). Occasionally, the name may derive from residence at the sign of the (pascal) lamb as in William atte Lamme, (1320). A famous bearer of the name was Charles Lamb (1775 - 1834), essayist and humorist, who published "Tales from Shakespeare", (1807), miscellaneous prose writings, (1818) and twenty-five essays, signed "Elia", between August 1820 and December 1822. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aedward Lamb, which was dated 1195, in the "Pipe Rolls of kent", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

John Lamb
I'm told my grandfather who arrived in the U.S. in the late 1800's was from Birkenhead England but that his family was originally from Wales. Not sure if that's accurate. Census data from around that time shows most Lambs in the U.K. were in the north of England and Scotland.

Philip Lamb
When I joined the British Army my father did a search on our origins and found we were from the Scottish clan of Lamont but the over time several of the lamb segment had moved to both England and Wales prior to the 1800's. Maybe some of your s did the same.

Claire Lambe

I am from Ireland and my surname is Lambe - I am used to telling people that we have the Medieval version of the name (vis-a-vis the "e" on the end) and that, probably, some soldier who came over with Henry II and Richard de Clare (Strongbow) in 1170, went AWOL, then native and spawned all the Lambes in Ireland - there are a lot of Lambes with an "e" there whereas English Lambs tend not to have the "e." But now, literally today - Dec 23, 2014 - I learned that we came from Scotland much more recently - possibly even as recently as my great grandfather in the 1800s. Now I have to rethink everything, haha, including if my great grandfather might have converted to Catholicism from Presbyterianism for marital reasons - ironically my father's older brothers were a mix of Catholic Christian Brothers and (old) IRA men who fought in the Irish war of Independence.