This unusual name has a wholly French origin and derives from the Village of St.Pierre de Semilly in La Mauche, Normandy. It was an introduction after 1066, although strangely, the first person associated with St. Pierre, i.e. Geoffrey de Clinton, Chamberlain of Henry 1 (1100 - 1135) did not carry the name. The name development to the six modern spellings of Semper, Sember, Samber, Sanper, Simper and Cymper, has been de Sempere (1270, Northumberland). Simon Saunper (1345, Strafford), Vrian Seintperee (1419, Yorkshire), John Semper (1466, Devon) whilst Richard Samble was a Quaker (1644 - 1680). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Sancto Petro. which was dated 1256, in the Assize Court of Northumberland. during the reign of King Henry 111, known as the Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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