This rare and interesting surname is of medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of either Humberstone in Leicestershire, which is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Humerstane', and derives from the personal name (Old English pre 7th Century) Hunbeorht's and 'stan', a stone, or from the River Humber, recorded as 'Humbri' circa 720 in Bede's History. This British (pre Roman) river name is thought to be derived from a compound of two words, the Old Welsh 'hu' or 'hy', meaning good or well, and 'amber' (also a river name in Derbyshire) which means a river, and is related to the Sanskit 'ambhas', water, and the Latin 'imber' a shower. One Abraham Murcott Umbers married Jane Meadows on May 2nd 1810 at Medbourne Cum Holt, in Leicestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Humberstein, which was dated 1180, Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154-1189. 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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