This is a surname of ancient British origins, and as a descriptive word pre-dates the Anglo-Saxon invasion period of the 6th to 9th Centuries A.D.. "Tumber" derives from the word "tumbere" and the later Norman-French post 1066 "tumbeur", and describes a professional dancer or acrobat, or perhaps occasionally a person who was particularly "frisky", someone with a lot of energy. Either way, the development of the medieval travelling theatre and circus provided both jobs, and ultimately surnames for its members, and on some of the beneficiaries were the original "Tumbers".The early recordings include: Henry le Tombere in the Hampshire Rolls of 1327, and William le Tumber, who is recorded in the Parliamentary Writs for the same period. Chaucer in "The Pardoners Tale" refers to "tombesteres Fetis and smale". Later recordings are those of Willyam Tumber, who was christened at St. Giles' Church, Cripplegate, London, on June 13th 1563, and Richard Tumber, who married Mary Kennard at St. Mary Woolchurch, London on December 15th 1598, both recordings being in the reign of Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Tumbur, which was dated 1276, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", 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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