This interesting surname is a variant of Clermont, which is of French origin, and is locational from any of the places so called. The placename is derived from the Old French "clair, cler", bright, clear, and "mont", hill, from the Latin "mons" from "montis", and means bright hill or clear hill. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birth-place. The name was probably introduced into England by French Huguenots. During the mid to late 17th Century thousands of French Huguenots fled to England and other countries, to escape religious persecution on the Continent, especially after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis X1V in 1685. Among the recordings in London are the christening of Zacharie, son of Zacharie Clairmonte and Jeanne Roure, on October 23rd 1748 at La Patente French Huguenot, Spitalfields, and the marriage of Mary Clairmont and William Godwin on December 21st 1801 at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Renee Clermont (marriage to Pierre Girand), which was dated February 19th 1609, St. Symphorien, Maine-et-Loire, Andad, France, during the reign of King Henry 1V of France, 1589 - 1610. 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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