Like the flower "Camellia", this very interesting surname has a Latin ancestry, although differing spelling forms are well recorded in most, if not all, European countries. The origination is from the Hebrew "Gamal", through the Roman (Latin) "Camelus", and the name is a nickname for somebody who trained camels or who was judged to have some characteristic associated with the famous animal. The spelling form as Camelia would seem to be Spanish, although this does not effect the origin. The name as "Camel" is recorded in England from the 12th Century, and this form is the earliest of all known recordings from any country.The "modern" spelling forms as Camelia, Camilio and Cameli are all patronymics or diminutives - Francisco Camelia being recorded in Rubi, Barcelona, on April 1st 1816, whilst Ramon Camelias is also recorded at Molins de Rei, Barcelona, on December 29th 1826. The Camellia flower is named after Joseph Kamel (1661 - 1706), who introduced if from Asia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Camel, which was dated circa 1199, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", 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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