This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a now "lost" place, thought to have been in Essex, due to the number of recordings in that county. The placenames means "the hillock or mound where flax grew", derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "pampe", to pamper, similar to the Old Norse byname "pampi", the Swedish "pamp", the Danish "pamper" and the German "pfampf", used to describe thick set people, from the Swedish "pampen", swollen, this was also used to describe a hillock or mound. The second element is from the Old English pre 7th Century "lin", flax. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which as eighth of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of "clearing" large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 14th and 15th Centuries. Among the recordings in Essex are the christening of Edmond, son of John Pamplin, on April 3rd 1603 at Great Waltham, and the marriage of John Pamplin and Elizabeth Brown in 1670 at Bocking. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Pamplin (christening), which was dated January 17th 1574, Great Waltham, Essex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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