This interesting surname is a Scottish variant of the English occupational name Chambers, and derives from the Old French "cha(u)mber", room, chamber, ultimately from the Latin "camera". This occupational name denoted an officer charged with the management of his lord's private living quarters. In medieval times, servants in royal households were held in high regard, and frequently those who occupied senior positions enjoyed certain privileges, and the post would often become hereditary. One Nicholas de Chambres was noted in the 1219 Curia Regis Rolls of Derbyshire, and a Robert de la Chaumbre of Lanarkshire, Scotland, rendered homage in 1296.In Scots Gaelic the "mb" of "Chambers" was assimilated to "m(m)" and "l" was added to indicate that the preceding vowel "a" was long. Gilbert Chawemere had safe conduct into England in 1465, and on December 27th 1608, Catharin Chalmers and Alexander Colvin were married in Inveresk, Midlothian. Sir George Chalmers (died 1791) was a noted Edinburgh portrait painter. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Chalmers or Chambers, partisan of Mary Queen of Scots, which was dated 1530, in the "Dictionary of National Biography", during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 - 1542. 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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