This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a Cornish form of the personal name "Clement". Clement derives from the Latin "Clemens", meaning "mild and merciful", and achieved popularity firstly through having been borne by an early saint who was a disciple of St. Paul, and later because it was selected as a symbolic name by a number of popes. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Clymo, Clyma, Clemo, Clemow, Clemmow and Climo. Recordings of the surname from Cornwall Church Registers include: the christening of John, son of Remfre Clemow, on June 5th 1591, at East Newlyn; the marriage of Thomas Clymo and Jana Chenals on April 28th 1638, at Gulval; and the christening of George, son of Petherick and Jane Clemo, at Lanivet, on January 17th 1663. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three black harrows between a black chevron on a silver shield. In Heraldry a Chevron signifies Protection, and has often been granted in arms as a reward to one who has achieved some notable enterprise. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Clemmowe, which was dated 1544, in the "Register of St. Columb Major", Cornwall, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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