This interesting and unusual name has three possible origins. The first of these is of Norman (French) origin, introduced after the conquest of 1066, and is a surname created from the Old Norman French nickname "cammus, camois", meaning "the snub-nosed one", from the Old French "camus", short, flat nose, pug-nose. The first recording of the surname from this source is that of Adam le Camhus, in the 1256 Assize Rolls of Northumberland. The second possible origin for the name is also a Norman introduction, and is a metonymic occupational surname for a shirtmaker, derived from the Old Norman French "camise, kemise", Old French "chemise", shirt, used by men and women, and describing also priest's surplices and herald's robes. The first recording from this source is Bartholomew le Camisur (1282, Berkshire). Finally, the modern surname, found as Cammis, Camis, Cammish, Camous, Camoys, Camus, Kemmis and Keemish, may be locational from "Campeaux" in Calvados, Normandy. The recording below is from this source. One Emot Cammish was christened on October 15th 1612 at Filey in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen de Cameis, which was dated 1200, in the "Northamptonshire Pipe Rolls", 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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