This unusual surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a variant of the more familiar Gamlin, itself a diminutive of the Old Norse personal byname "Gamall" (Old Danish "Gamal"), "Old", recorded as "Gamel" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Odo filius (son of) Gamelin was entered in the Domesday Book for Somerset, and the latter personal name remained popular, especially in the north of England, up to the mid 14th Century. Recordings of the same include: Huttred filius Gamelli (Northumberland, 1273), and Gamelyn de Cottyngwith (Cambridgeshire, 1347). One Simon Gamel, witness, was noted in the 1202 Lancashire Assize Rolls, and the diminutive form of the surname first appears on record in the mid 13th Century (below). Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in vernacular naming traditions (as distinct from religious), names were originally formed from vocabulary elements of the local language, and no doubt bestowed for their auspicious connotations. In this case, "Gamel, Gam(b)lin", "Old", was probably understood in the sense "wise, mature, sensible". In the modern idiom the surname is variously spelt including Gamlin, Gamlane, Gamlen Jamblin, and Gamblin(g), the latter examples showing an intrusive dialectal "b". On April 12th 1697, Rebecca Gamblin and Robert Boult were married at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The family Coat of Arms depicts three gold mullets on a black shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Gamelin, which was dated 1262, in "Select Pleas of the Forest", Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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