This is an ancient name first recorded at the very begining of fixed family surnames in medieval England and in some other parts of Europe. Over the centuries it developed at least thirty different spelling forms. These include Lamson (in 1456), Lambson (1576), Lampson (1662), Lambshin (1713), Lambshen (1742), Lamshon (1784), and many others. It seems that as recently as the 20th century it developed Lambshine and now the double-barrelled version Lamb-Shine. In these spelling there are a small but increasing number of name holders in the UK, and at least one holder in Israel, and it is probable that the creation of a family tree might reveal that all present name holders are related! Looking back eight hundred years there are at least three British and European origins. Firstly it was religious and described a follower of the 6th Century St. Lambert. He was popular throughout Europe for over a thousand years. Secondly it was locational or job descriptive, for the landlord of an inn or hostel called 'The Lamb' or perhaps somebody who lived by such a place. Thirdly it was a popular medieval nickname where it supposedly described a 'soft' person or the son of a Lamb. However given the ribald humour of those ancient times - it usually meant the opposite! As Lambchin it has French Jewish origins - a Levi Lanchin being recorded in London in 1710, the Jews as well as Protestants, often being driven out by the French. The very first recording anywhere is believed to be that of Godwinne Lambesune, in the tax rolls of the county of Berkshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England (1272 - 1307).
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