This curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of two villages thus called in Nottinghamshire. The first, situated five miles south east of Nottingham, was recorded as "Pluntre" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Plumtr(e)" in the 1206 Close Rolls, and the latter, situated near Bawtry, appears as "Plumptre" in the 1265 "Inquisitions Miscellaneous", and as "Plumtre by Bautre" in the Patent Rolls of 1300. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, that is, the Olde English pre 7th Century "plume", plum, and "treow", tree; hence, "place where plum-trees grew". The initial element is found in many placenames, for example, Plumbland (Cumberland); Plumley (Cheshire); Plumton (Sussex); and Plumstead (Kent), indicating that the growing of plums for commercial purposes was a widespread practice prior to, and during, the Middle Ages. The surname is first recorded in Nottinghamshire in the late 13th Century when a prestigious member of the family (below) was granted a Coat of Arms depicting five gold fleurs-de-lis on a black saltire, all on a silver shield. John de Plumptre was M.P. for the town of Nottingham in the reign of Richard 11 (1377 - 1399). On April 4th 1563, Winifred Plumtrie was christened at Lambourn, Berkshire, and on March 8th 1583, the christening of Gartred, daughter of James Plumtree, took place at Morton, Derbyshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Plumptre, a Knight of Nottinghamshire, which was dated circa 1272, in "A List of Knights of Counties Derby and Nottingham", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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