Last name: Chambers
This distinguished surname, with over fifteen entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", and having no less than twenty-five Coats of Arms, is of French origin, and is an occupational name for an officer charged with the management of his lord's private living quarters. The derivation is from the Old French "cha(u)mbre", room, chamber, ultimately from the Latin "camera". In medieval times, servants in royal households were held in high regard, and frequently those who occupied senior positions enjoyed certain privileges, and the post would often become hereditary. The name is synonymous in origin with Chamberlain, which originally denoted an official in charge of the private chambers of his master, and later became a title of high rank. An interesting quote from the "Household Book of Queen Isabelle", dated 1358, reads "Griffin del Chambre, scutifier of Princess Isabel". Christopher Chambers, aged 24 yrs., who embarked from London on the ship "Constance" bound for Virginia in October 1635, was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. Sir Thomas Chambers (1814 - 1891), treasurer, 1872, and G.C., 1861, was recorder of the City of London in 1878. One of the earliest Coats of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with a black chevron, surmounted of another ermine, between three chambers placed transverse of the escutcheon of the second, fired proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Chambres, which was dated 1219, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Derbyshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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There are several unrelated patrilineal lines for the surname Chambers. One (mine) can be found in this website under McCambridge who came from the Argylles in Scotland to Ireland and are a sept family of Clan MacDonald. Most Chambers are Anglo/Norman as the ones described above and have the same roots as Chamberlain. There is also Chambers (same family as Chalmers) which comes from Clan Cameron in Scotland.
If anyone can find out why some McCambridges changed their name to Chambers in Ulster, Ireland please post a reply.