This most interesting and curious surname is of Old French origin, and originated as a nickname for a person with some peculiarity of the legs or gait, from the Norman-Picard and Provencal form of the Old French "jambe", from the Late Latin "gamba", Greek "kampe", a bendy joint, knee. The name was introduced into England by French uguenots fleeing religious persecution in the late 16th and 17th Centuries. Early examples of the surname include the following recordings: the marriage of Elizabeth Gambie and George Couchman in 1609, at St. Paul's Church, Canterbury, Kent; the christening of Eslizabeth, daughter of Pierre and Eslizabeth Gambie, at the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church, London, on October 1st 1639; the birth of Dionne, daughter of Dominigne and Margueritte Gambe, on June 16th 1652, at Champigneulles, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France; and the christening of Marie Gambey on July 7th 1680, at Rosieres-Aux-Salines, Meurthe-et-Moselle. A Coat of Arms granted to a Gambi family depicts a human leg proper, couped above the knee, on a gold shield, with three gold stars and a gold cresent on a blue chief. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Antoine Gambie, which was dated October 3rd 1591, a christening witness at the Walloon or Stranger's Church, Canterbury, Kent, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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