Recorded in a number of spellings including Damp, Damper, and Dampier, this unusual and interesting name is English, although it has its source of origin is French. It originates from any of the of the various places called "Dampierre" in France, and in particular the two villages of this name in Normandy. It is arguable as to when the name was first was introduced into Britain, but it was clearly after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It had a second "entry" into England in the 17th century, when protestant Huguenot refugees fleeing persecution in France and other catholic countries, added their names to the original list.An example of the new entry is that of Daniell Dampeire, a witness at the French church, Threadneedle Street, City of London, on February 18th 1652. The translation of the name is literally "Lord Peter", from the first element "Dam", which was originally "Dom" from the Latin "Dominus" meaning "lord", and "Pierre" the French form of the given name Peter, thus a place named in honour of St. Peter. Early examples of the surname recordings include Nichaolas Damp, who married Margaret Pattern, at St Dunstans in the east, Stepney, London, on July 26th 1596, and at the same church a century later on 23rd April 1695, when Edward Dampier was christened. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of William de Damper, which was dated 1225, in the "Patent Rolls" of Yorkshire. This was during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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