Recorded as Gamlin, Gamblin, Gamlyn and others, this is an English surname, although one of pre 7th century Norse-Viking origins. It is derived from the Norse byname Gamall, meaning "old"; and Gamall was used in Northern England during the Middle Ages as a given name. Spelt as Gamel, it was first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 whilst Gamel Auceps was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1158. The surname is well documented in early medieval records including James Gamelin in the Pleas of the Forest, in the county of Essex in 1262; whilst Jordan Gambel appears in the Minister's Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall, in 1297; and John Gamyll in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York, dated 1597.Recordings in the surviving church registers of the city of London include the marriage of Ales Gamlyn and George Chaundler on May 12th 1594 at St. Margaret's Westminster, and that of Henry Gamlin and Martha Gillowe on June 4th 1663 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Gamel. This was dated 1202, a witness in the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King John, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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