This most interesting and unusual surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be of Old Celtic origin, from a Celtic female personal name, found as "Isemeine, Isemay, Ismaine", of unknown derivation, recorded in the late 12th and 13th Centuries in Norfolk and Suffolk. However, there is also the possibility that it may be of Old Germanic origin, from the personal name "Ismagin", Iron-strength. This was probably introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The personal name itself appears as "Ysmeine" in the 1199 Pipe Rolls of Rutland, and as "Ismena, Ysmeina" and "Hismena", circa 1206 - 1212, in the Curia Rolls of Suffolk and Nottinghamshire. The surname is found as Ememey, Emmony, Emney, Emmans, Emmens, Emmons and Immink. Early examples of the surname include John Ymanie, recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Kent in 1279; Roger Emaygne, mentioned in the Court Rolls of the borough of Colchester in 1352; and Nicholas Eman, who appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1524. John, son of George and Ann Emeny, was christened on November 9th 1702, at St. Sepulchre's, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Imayn, which was dated 1276, in the "Hundred Rolls of Leicestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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