This unusual surname, widely recorded in Church Registers of south west County Cork, has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Camier may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a variant of the surname Camber or Cammer, itself an occupational name for a maker of combs, or for someone who used a comb in disentangling wool or flax. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "camb, comb", comb, with the addition of the agent suffix "-er(e)". In its original sense, "a man who has to do with", the "er(e)" designates persons according to their profession or occupation. Early English examples of the surname from this source include: Reginald Combere (Hertfordshire, 1220); William le Comere (Norfolk, 1286); and John Camere (Colchester, Essex, 1359). The second possibility is that Camier is of Old French origin, and an aphetic form of Recamier, an occupational name for one engaged in the embroidery trade from the Old French "recamer", embroiderer. The surname from this source was introduced into England, and subsequently brought to Ireland, by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in their own country from the late 16th Century on. On March 30th 1787, Jeanne Nicolle Victoire, daughter of Andre Marcel Camier, was christened at Asfeld-la-ville, Ardennes, France, and on February 6th 1864, the birth of James, son of William Camier and Mary Love, was recorded in Goleen, County Cork. 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 of Lincolnshire", 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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