This very unusual surname is of German origins, and probably 18th century. It is well recorded in the province of Westfalen, and particularly the town of Dielingen. Indeed according to our records, upto the year 1900 it was rarely if ever recorded anywhere else, being specific both to the town and to a particular church -the Lutheren Evangelist! The surname is not recorded in any of the standard dictionaries of German surnames, nor is it recorded in the dictionary of German-American surnames by George F Jones. In our opinion the origin is what is technically known as 'ornamental'. This is to say that people moving into Germany from about the year 1750 were given German sounding surnames. These reflected an abstract world, particularly one which glorified nature. There are many examples, such as Greenberg (the green hill), or Abenschein (the beautiful evening), and similar. In this case the translation seems to be 'the path (gass) through the field (kamp)'. Both 'Gas(s)' and 'Kamp(f)' form surnames in their own right. Many German registers were destroyed during the Second World War, and therefore our findings are not conclusive. Early recordings include (possibly) Georg Jacob Gaskard, of Pfalz, Bayern on November 5th 1724, but certainly Engel Gaskamp, who married Carl Dietrich Tiemann at Dielingen, on July 21st 1859, and Friedrich Heinrich Gaskamp, who married Margarette Luise Wendt at the same church on September 29th 1874. The coat of arms has the blazon of a green field, a silver bend, charged with three crosses. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johan Diderich Gaskamp, which was dated February 3rd 1833, at Dielingen Evangelist church, Westfalen, Germany, during the reign of Frederick-William 111 of Prussia, reigned 1797 - 1840. 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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