Recorded as Humbart, Humbert, Imbert, Ambart, Umbert, and others, in these spellings this is loosely an English surname, but one of pre 5th century Germanic or French origins. In German speaking countries such as Germany itself, Austria and Switzerland where the spelling is Humboldt, Humbolt, Humbrecht, Humprecht, Hummer, Humpertz and others, it is much more widely recorded. It translates as "famous bear cub" from the pre 5th century "hun - berht" the bear. Introduced into the British Isles at about the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, it is arguably a pagan name but it seems that it was accepted by the Christian church and St.Humbert founded the abbey of Marolles in Flanders in about 690 a.d. As to why the surname did not become more popular in England is unclear and even as late as the year 1880 there were only four recorded holders of the surname in the whole of Greater London. The first recording that we have been able to find is that of Hugh Umberd in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Buckinghamshire in the year 1273. Other surviving recordings include Mary Imbert at St George's Chapel, Mayfair, on Juky 1st 1753 and slightly earlier Jacob Himbert at Threadneedle Street French church, also London, on April 10th 1737.
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