Recorded in over forty spelling forms from Lambert, Lambard and Limprecht, to Lambrich, Lambertini and Lemmens, this surname is almost certainly of very early German origins. As a surname it started life in the 12th century, but the derivation is from a pre 5th century personal name. This was 'Landbehrt', composed of the elements "land", meaning territory, and "berht", bright, and whilst the meaning may have been "Bright land", it may not have had a meaning at all! Nethetheless it is one of a group of 'made up' names, apparently extolling the virtues of land ownership, and territorial possession.Whether this was fact or wishful thinking, is not proven. What is known is that St. Lambert, Bishop of Maastricht in about the year 700 a.d, was highly venerated, and a 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. Another source of the name can be the Olde English 'Lambhierd', representing the occupation of lamb-herd, the first recorded namebearer being William Lambhyrde, in the 1255 Assize Court Rolls of Essex. Charles Lambert, aged 23 yrs., was an early settler in the New World Colonies, leaving London on the "Expedition" bound for the Barbadoes, in November 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is believed to be that of Richard Lambert, which was dated 1148, in the 'Pipe Rolls' of Hampshire. This was during the reign of King Stephen of England, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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