This name, with variant spellings Lemary, Lemery, Lemeri(e), Limerie, Le Maire, Le Mayre etc., is of French origin, from the French definite article "le" plus "Marie", a mayor, and was originally given either as a status name to one who held this important office or, as a nickname to someone who played the part of a mayor in a medieval pageant. The surname, under it's variant forms is well recorded in London church registers from the early part of the 16th Century, (see below). Several namebearers entered England as Huguenot refugees fleeing from religious persecutions in their own county during the 17th and 18th Centuries as the following recording show: Debora, daughter of Jean Le Maire, christened in the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church, (February 10th 1600), and Pierre Lemery christened in that church on April 7th 1695; Pierre Lemerie christened, St.Jean French Huguenot, Spitalfields, (January 16th 1698), and Magdelaine, daughter of Jean Limerie, christened in the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot on January 19th 1792. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lemary, (marriage to Jone Merlo), which was dated July 13th 1539, St. Margarets, Westminster, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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