Recorded as Filimore, Fillimore, and Phillimore, this is an English surname, but perhaps surprisingly, of Norman French origins. It was introduced by the conquering Normans in 1066, and despite its very "English" appearance and its French ancestry in fact owes its origins to a pre 7th century Germanic name "Filumeri". This name it seems translated as "The very merry one". This was possibly a reference to a social person, but more likely was a baptismal name of hope during the period of history known as "The Dark Ages", that the child would turn out in life to be a happy person, or at least to have a happy life. The correct spelling is arguably with an "f" although since the medieval times the "ph" has been at least as popular. This is because of a conceived association with the personal name Phillip. This name was introduced into Europe by returning Crusader knights from the Holy Land in the 12th century, although in fact no such association has ever existed. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon Bardsley believed that the name was a slang form of "fin amour", or pure love, but later research has shown this to be erroneous. Examples of the surname recording include Sarah Philimore who married Robert Foster at St James Ckerkenwell, in the city of London, in 1683, whilst William Phillimore was recorded at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1795.
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