SDB Popularity Ranking: 10967

Last name: Cambridge

SDB Popularity ranking: 10967

This famous locational surname was untypically originally recorded in its hometown of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire. It was the usual medieval practice to call a 'stranger' by the name of the place from whence they came, that is if they were not already so-called by virtue of their holding either the status of 'Lord of the Manor', or possibly a religious post. There are several surnames which derive from the two Cambridges, and these probably include Cammidge, Gammage, and Cammage reflecting dialect and slang. In Roman times the then fortified town of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire was called 'Granchester 'The fort on the Granta river', and is so recorded by the Venerable Bede in the year 730 a.d. The Charter of the borough of Cambridge in 1125 is spellt as 'Cantebruge', and when Chaucer passed by a hundred years later it had further developed into 'Cambrugge'. As late as 1400 the county was called 'Cambruggeshire'. The Gloucester village is first recorded as 'Cambrigga' in the year 1200, and seems to have immediatley produced surnames. Early examples from both places include Richard de Cambrige in the pipe rolls of Stafford for the year 1182, whilst Alan de Cambrigge also of Stafford, is recorded in the Assize Rolls of 1227, and Stephen de Caumbrigge was recorded in Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) in 1348. Later examples include Thomas Camage who was buried at St James Church, Clerkenwell in 1607, and Abraham Cambridge who married Millicant Tidman at St Antholins Church, London, in 1729. The blazon of the coat of arms is per pale silver and black, a saltire engrailed counterchanged. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Picot de Grantebrige, which was dated 1086, the Domesday Book of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as 'The conquerer', 1066 - 1087. 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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