Recorded in over two hundred spelling forms, including Lambert, Lambrecht, Lampert, diminutives Lambion, Lambillion, Lambotin, Lampel, and patronymics Lamberts, Lambertson, Lammers, and many others, this is a surname of very early Gallic or German origins. It is now recorded in almost every northern european country. There are several possible origins, but the most likley is from a pre 5th century personal name 'Landbehrt', meaning 'good land' and one of a group of names, especially created to extol the virtues of land ownership and territorial possession. What is certain is that the most famous early name holder was St. Lambert, the bishop of Maastricht in about the year 700 a.d,. He was highly venerated, and a major source of the name's popularity. Examples of the early recordings include Gozelinus filius Lamberti of Yorkshire, England, in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, but clearly this name was not hereditary in the sense we know it today, nor was that of Tiddemus filius Lamberti of Hamburg in 1262. Later examples taken from surviving recordings include Charles Lambert, aged 23 years, an early settler in the New World Colony of Virginia in November 1635, whilst in France Francois Lambillion, the daughter of Francis and Margarite Lambillion, was christened at Viraux-Molhain, Ardennes, on October 29th 1656. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is believed to be that of Richard Lambert. This was dated 1148, in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, England, during the reign of King Stephen, known as the count of Blois, 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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