This very unusual surname is English, and it is also locational. It probably translates as 'the place (leah) on the river (umber)', and it could be a short fom or tranposition of the Devonshire village name 'Umberleigh'. What appears to be certain, is that no such place as 'Umney' now exists. It almost certainly did exist, because the surname exists, but in its present form we have only been able to establish a wide range of recordings in the London area. This may be because the original 'Umney' was in that region, or much more likely it came to London, and was transposed in its spelling.Some five thousand or 8% of all British surnames originate from now 'lost' medieval villages of which the only reminder in the 20th century is the surviving surname. However we are usually able to pin point where the original village lay, but not in this case, unless it is a short form of Umberleigh. The origin is possibly Ancient British, or pre 55 a.d. when the Romans began to colonise the country. We however, only have surname recordings from the 18th century. These include Richard Umney, a witness at Putney church, Westminster, on August 15th 1731, John and Frances Umney, married at the famous church of St Dunstan's in the East, Southwark, on July 20th 1763, and their daughter Elizabeth,born on June 23rd 1765, and who married Thomas Finch at St Mary's Putney, on August 21st 1787.
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