This famous name is Norman-French and derives from the villages of "Gamaches" found in the Department of Eure, Normandy. It has been claimed that the earliest name holders were followers of the Conqueror in 1066 and this is probable, although the earliest recording is somewhat late. Modern variants of the name are recorded as Gammage, Gammidge and Cam(m)idge. The name is recorded Heraldically in France, both in Picardy and Berry, the main Coat of Arms being Two Golden Lions passant on a Black Field, whilst the English Coat of Arms granted to Payne de Gammage C.1250 was Silver with five red Lozenges in diagonal. The name oddly, is believed to be from the Gaelic "Cam-Apia" meaning "The Winding River". The name development includes Alicia Gamage (1279, Oxford and William Gamage, (1583, Yorkshire). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey de Gamages. which was dated 1158, in the "Pipe Rolls of County Hereford". during the reign of King Henry 11, 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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