This unusual and interesting name is French in origin and is a topographical surname denoting someone who lived in or near a field or an expanse of open country. The derivation is from the Old French word "champ", meaning field or open land, from the Latin "campus", plain expanse of flat land. As a surname it could also apply to someone who lived in the countryside as opposed to a town. The modern English surname can be found as Camp, Campe and Champe. There are many European variations of the name, in French "Delcamp, Dechamp(s)" etc., in Italy, "Campi, Campari", etc., in Germany "Kampler" and so on. One, Abell Champ was married to Thomas Stokes, at St. Katherine's by the Tower, London, on the 2nd February 1634. John Champ, an early emigrant to the New World, was resident in St. James City, Virginia, prior to February 16th 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joane Champe, christened, which was dated December 17th 1581, in "St. Andrew's", Enfield, London., during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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