This is an ancient name in Ireland, known to date back to the 12th Century and shortly after the invasion of Henry 11th in 1171. The name means specifically "a man from Flanders" and was found as "le Flamanc", one William Le Flamanc being so recorded in the Yorkshire Assize Rolls in 1219 A.D.. The name is also job descriptive, and "Le Flamanc" probably referred as much to skills as a "Flemish weaver" as the place of origin. In the early medieval period "Flanders" was the centre of all european textile manufacture and several English Kings offered "inducements" to persuade "Flem(m)ings" to emigrate to Britain, and to set up manufacture.The Irish Flemings acquired considerable estates in Co. Meath e.g., (Lord Slane of Slane Castle), but by supporting James 11 against William and Mary, (1690) was ultimately ruined. The name is now found in all Irish provinces, and has been particularly associated with the church, in both denominations. These include Nicholas Fleming, Archbishop of Armagh (circa 1404 - 1416), the Rev. Richard Fleming (1542 - 1590) Professor of Philosophy, Paris, the most prominent theologian of his time, Rev. Patrick Fleming (1599 - 1631), author of the Life of St. Columban and the Rev. Thomas Fleming, Archbishop of Dublin (1593 - 1666). Other recordings include James Fleming, christened at St. Nicholas within, Dublin on July 3rd 1694, and Thomas Fleming, who married a Sarah Aston at St. Peters, Dublin, on January 1st 1760. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Fleming, which was dated March 1st 1435, a christening witness at Slane, Co. Meath, during the reign of King Henry V1, "Founder of Eton College", 1422 - 1461. 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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