This interesting surname of Scottish, Manx and English origin is an occupational name for a judge or arbiter or minor dispute deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "dem(e)ster" or "demere" meaning "to judge" or "pronounce judgement". The surname is not common in England, where the term was early replaced by the Anglo Norman French "Judge", but it is relatively frequent in Scotland, where until 1747 every laird or barony could have certain offenses with his territory tried by the "dempster", and on the Isle of Man, where "deemsters" also played an important part in the administration of justice. The name dates back to the late 11th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Alan Demur (1250), and Richard le Demor (1301)". A Chartulary of the Augustine Priory of Trentham, Staffordshire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Deemer, Demer, Demers, etc.. Elizabeth, daughter of Johne Demeare, was christened at St. Ann, Blackfriars church, London on January 5th 1588 and one Elizabeth Deamer married Ralph Thornley at St. Pancras, Old Church, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Leuric Demere, which was dated circa 1095, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1087 - 1100. 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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