This most interesting surname is of combined Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Pembury in Kent, which was recorded as "Pepingebir" in the Curia Rolls of 1205 and "Papingbyr" in the Charter Rolls of 1257. The placename is composed of the initial element "Pepingas", from a personal name of uncertain etymology, but thought to derive from the Old Norse "papa, papi", hermit, with "-ingas", usually denoting "sons or descendants of", and the second element is "burg", the Olde English word for "fortified place, fort", also found as "-borough", "-burh", "-bury" and "byrh". In some instances the name may have derived from "Pembrey", near Llanelly, in the former county of Carmarthenshire (now Dyfed), South Wales. Early recordings of the surname include the marriage of Edward Pembury to Susan Honiborn at Buckland, Gloucester in 1625; the christening of Phillippe Pembrey, son of Philippe and Jeane Pembrey at the Walloon church in Canterbury on March 1st 1662; and the christening of Richard Pembry on April 19th 1669 at Winchcomb, in Gloucestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Pembery, which was dated January 23rd 1588, marriage to Elizabeth Reade, at St. Peter the Great, Chichester, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 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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