One of the most popular of the early martyrs was St. Clement, the name means "mild and merciful", and this popularity reached its peak in the 13th Century, as a baptismal name. However, this popularity also coincided with the wholesale introduction of surnames, and in consequence, a wide range of variant forms of "Clement" were introduced. These included Clementson, Clemans, Clemet, Clemilti and Clemmett, the latter being a North Country patronymic or diminutive with the suffix "petit", shortened to "et(t)" or "it(t)", and describing "little Clem(ent)" or more probably "son of Clem(ent)". The name, in any form, is not recorded in England before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and was probably a later Crusades introduction. Examples of the name recording include: William Climent, in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk for 1275; Richard Clemence of Huntingdonshire in 1279; and Johannes Clement of York in 1379. In 1582, on the 21st of November, Ambrosse Clemet was born at Winston, Durham, and on December 27th 1620, James Clemmett was a witness at the christening of his daughter, Dorothy, at Aycliffe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Clement, which was dated 1153, in the "Templar (Crusades) Roll of Oxford", during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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