This rare and interesting surname is of Catalan origin, which is the language of north-east Spain and the Balearic islands. The surname derives from the abstract noun "company", from the Old French "compain", a companion, fellow. The name may have referred to one of the members of a nobleman's retinue, or it may derive from a rare medieval given name bestowed on a child in recognition of the companionship he brings to his relatives. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance "the good campanion".The surname can also be found as Company and Companys. Recordings of the surname from various church registers include; Juanne, son of Stephanu and Elisabeha Campany, who was christened on February 14th 1643 at Olot, Gerona, Spain; Richard Campany who married May Tyler on January 3rd 1655 at Hawkhurst, Kent; and Leonard Campany who married Mary Gowins on November 10th 1691 at Benenden, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gabriele Campany, which was dated March 23rd 1640, witness at a christening in Olot Gerona, Spain, during the reign of King Philip 1V of Spain, 1621 - 1665. 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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