This interesting surname is of early medieval English and Old French origin, thought to have been introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The surname derives from the male given name "Clement", adopted from the Latin "Clemens", Merciful, Mild. The personal name was popular in England from the mid 12th Century on, partly due to the fame of St. Clement, a disciple of St. Paul, and later because a number of early popes selected the name Clement for its symbolic values. There has been some confusion with the originally distinct male given name "Clemence", also used as a female name, from the Latin "Clementia", Mercy.The personal names are recorded as "Clemens" in 1153, in the Records of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk, and "Clementia" in 1162, in Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire. The surname can be found as Clement, Clemett, Clemmett, Clemmitt and Clemitt. Ambrose Clemet was born in Winston, Durham, on November 21st 1582, and Dorothy, daughter of James Clemmett, was christened on December 27th 1620, at Aycliffe. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with two red bends wavy, on a red chief three estoiles, the Crest being on a green mount a gold griffin sejant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Clement, which was dated 1153, in the "Records of the Templars in England in the 12th Century", Oxfordshire, 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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