This famous English surname has two distinct origins; firstly, it may be of Norman French origin, introduced into Britain after the Conquest of 1066, and a locational name from the place called Saint-Maur (des Fossees) in Seine, Northern France. The place is so called from the dedication of the church there to St. Maur, the 6th disciple of St. Benedict. Secondly, Seymour may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational name from either of two places in North Yorkshire called Seamer. These places are both recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Semer", and share the same meaning and derivation, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sae", sea, lake, with the later addition of the explanatory "mere", lake, pond.The places called Semer in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Yorkshire are also possible sources of the surname, and share the same derivation. Early examples of the name include Henry de Seimor (1203, Staffordshire), Henry de Seymmor (1272, ibid.), and Robert Seymor (1344, London). The Seymour family who hold the title Dukes of Somerset originated in Saint-Maur, and came to England first with William the Conqueror: they rose to prominence under the Tudors, with Edward Seymour (1506 - 1552), brother of Jane, Henry V111's third wife, holding the office of Lord Protector in the reign of Edward V1. One of the twelve Coats of Arms granted to the family depicts, on a red shield, a fess ermine between three pairs of wings cojoined in lure, silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gaufridus de Sancto Mauro, which was dated 1159, in the "Pipe Rolls of Huntingdonshire", 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.
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