This is an English surname of ancient origins. It is possibly a foreshortened spelling of the Lancashire locational name Pemberton or Pembleton, although it may have derived directly from an Olde English pre 7th century personal name 'Paegna'. The place name is first recorded in the year 1210 as 'Penburton' suggesting that the translation may be 'the large farm (barton) on a hill (penn)', although it is also equally possible given that education in the 13th century, and for many centuries afterwards, was almost non existent, that it means 'Paegna's barley farm'. Curiously Paegna does mean 'pagan', plus 'ber' meaning barley and 'ton' a farm or settlement. 'Pember' was also occasionally encounted as a Christian name, and from this may have come the surname. The first examples of the surname recording are those of Adam de Pemberton which was dated 1190, in the Pipe Rolls of Lancashire, and Alan de Pemberton also of Lancashire in the year 1202. The first recording was during the reign of King Richard Ist of England, known as Lionheart. He reigned only from 1189 to 1199, and was followed by his highly unpopular brother, at least in written fiction, the only King John, who reigned until 1216. Other examples include Richard Pember, who married Anne Tew at St Peters church, Pauls Wharf, in the city of London, in 1615, John Pemberton, a goldsmith in London, in 1619, and John Pember, a witness at St Michael's church, Ashton under Lyne, Lanacshire, in 1671. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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