This interesting name is of early medieval Norman-French origin and is derived from the English form of the Norman female given name "Emma", which is of Germanic origin, apparently a pet form of various women's names with the first element "ermin", entire. In the modern idiom, variants of the surname include Em(m)et, Emmot, Emmitt, Emmatt, Hemmett, Emeline, Emlyn, Emblin(g) and Emblem. The name was apparently adopted by the Normans who introduced it to England; unusually this was before the Conquest of 1066, and occurred when Emma, daughter of Richard, Duke of Normandy, married, first, King Elthelrede the Unready in 1002 and later married King Canutt in 1017. In England the personal name was popular from the 4th Century on in the forms "Em" or "Emm". John Emme appeared in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1279. In September 1566 one Margarete Eme was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London and Nicholas Emm married Mary Swadley at st Dunstan's, Stepney, London on January 1st 1648. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Emms, which was dated 1274, in the "Hundred Rolls of Shropshire", 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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