This interesting name is of early medieval English and Old French origin, thought to have been introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. Clement is one of the patronymic forms of the surname 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 as "Clementia" in 1162, in Documents relating to the Danelaw, Lincolnshire. One Richard Clemence is listed in the Huntingdonshire Hundred Rolls of 1279. The patronymic forms of Clement range from Clements, Clemon(t)s, Clemetts and Clem(m)ens, to Clemence, Climance, Clemen(t)son, Clemson and Clemerson. Thomas Clements was an early emigrant to the American Colonies, leaving London on the "Abraham" in October 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robertus Clemens, which was dated 1155, in the "Records of the Templars in England", Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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