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 Larance Camp was christened at St. Antholin's, Budge Row, London, on May 2nd 1585, and the marriage of George Camp and Jone Gripe was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, on October 31st 1603. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joane Champe (christening), 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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