Recorded in many forms including Compson, Compston, Cometson, Kumpson, Cumpson, Campson, and Comson, this is believed to be an English surname of two possible origins,. The first is that it is patronymic form of the Old English pre 7th century personal name "Cempa", found in Medieval English as "Kempe", and meaning a warrior or athlete. Amongst the earliest of all recordings is that of Eadulf Cempa recorded in the Old English Byname Register for Wiltshire and dated 902 a.d, whilst Edmund Kempe appears in the county rolls of Norfolk in the year 1100. Later examples showing the development of the patronymic include Anne Comson and Richard Jenkinson who were married at St Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, on April 2nd 1627, whilst on September 4th 1683, Jane Campson married Richard Fisher at St. James, Dukes Place, cit y of London. The second possible origin is locational from a place called Compston, of which the only known example was in Kircudbrightshire, Scotland. This is now a ruined village, so it is possible that as it was certainly occupied in the 17th century, the inhabitants left and moved south into England. The surname is not officially listed as a Scottish surname, so this is possible. However it is also possible that the name originates from a now "lost" medieval village in England itselfThroughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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