This interesting and unusual surname has two distinct possible origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Climson may be a patronymic form of the Middle English male given name "Clem, Clim", itself a short form of the Old French "Clement", from the Latin "Clemens", mild, merciful. This name was popular in England from the 12th Century on, partly due to the fame of St. Clement, a disciple of St. Paul, and also as a result of its having been selected by a number of early popes, including Clement 11 who flourished circa 1046. One Clemens monachus was noted in the 1153 Records of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk, and a John Climme appears in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire. The second possibility is that Climson is of locational origin from a place thus called in the Stoke Climsland parish of Cornwall. Recorded variously as "Clymestun" circa 970 in the Saxon Chartulary, and as "Climeston" in the 1194 Pipe Rolls of Cornwall, the placename has as its component elements the genitive case of the personal byname "Clim(p)" related to the Olde English "clympre", a lump, with "tun", an enclosure, settlement. One Aelfled de Clymestune was noted in the Olde English Byname Register for Devonshire, circa 970, and an Arthenbaldus de Climeston appears in the 1207 Pipe Rolls of Cornwall. The christening of Suzania, daughter of John Climson, took place at St. Olave's, Southwark, London, on December 20th 1647. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Clymson, which was dated February 18th 1577, marriage to Brydgett Copwoode, at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate, 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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