Recorded in several spelling forms including Kemer, Keemer, Kemar, Keymer, Kemery and Kemmery, this is an English surname. At least it has been recorded in England for a very long time, but its origins are to some extent shrouderd in mystery. In our opinion it is occupational and one of the group of surnames which originate from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'camb', the modern comb, and hence the name either of a wool comber, or the maker of combs. In Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands, this surname is usually found as Kammer or Kemmer or Kemmler, and the closeness to the English and vice-versa, suggests that it may have been a name introduced by the famous Flemish weavers who came to England in the 14th century. Occupational surnames were not at first hereditary. They only became so when the son or sometimes the grandson, took on the same occupation as the father. Early examples of the surname recording include: Ralph le Combere of Norfolk in the year 1286, and John Camere of Colchester in 1359. Later examples taken from the earliest surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Elizabeth Kemer who married Robert Hatton at St Margarets, Westminster, on May 15th 1584, Richard Kemyre, who married Mary Middleton at St Dionis Backchurch, in the city of London, on July 12th 1604, and Richard Kemery, whose daughter Elizabeth was christened at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on May 5th 1767.
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