Recorded as Gaymer and Gaymar, this is an ancient English surname, but perhaps confusingly one of pre 7th century Germanic, and later Norman-French, origins. It derives from the early personal name Gaimar or the even earlier Weimar meaning "famous fight", and was one of the names "borrowed" by the Norsemen of the "The Dark Ages" who made the epic march from Scandanavia down through Northern Germany, until they eventually reached the region that they colonised and called Normandy, in north west France. Other Scandanavians conquered much of England, Scotland and Ireland in the same period but by ship, being later known as the Vikings. In this case the personal name was almost certainly brought to England by members of the conquering army of William 1st in 1066, although the first known surviving recording is not until the year 1193, during the reign of the famous Richard, the Lionheart (1189 - 1199). This was that of Rannulf filius Gaimar in the county of Lincolnshire, although he was probably the same person recorded as Rannulf Gaimer in the same county in 1199, whilst Peter Gaymer is recorded in the county of Essex shortly afterwards in the year 1219. All these recordings are taken from surviving tax records, thereby suggesting that the nameholders were of prominent status even at this early time.
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