This interesting name of English origin is a dialectal variant of an occupational name Camber, which derives from an Olde English pre 7th Century word "Camb", meaning Comb. The occupation referred to would perhaps be a maker or seller of Combs, or to someone who used them in disentangling wool or flax, an alternative process akin to carding which caused the wool fibres to lie parallel to one another. This was a very important medieval occupation and was bound to create and preserve this name. In the modern idiom, the variants include Commer, Comber, Kember, Kempster. Two early recordings of namebearers in London are as follows: one Alexander Comer the infant son of Richard and Anna was christened at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster on September 3rd 1637, and one Anne Comer married John King on January 9th 1623 at St. Dunstans Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph (le) Cambere, which was dated 1201, in the "Pipe Rolls", London, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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