This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical name for a dweller by a lake to the west of a settlement, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "west", west, with "mere", mere, lake, or a locational name from any of the places named with the above elements. These places include: Westmore (Green) in the Godstone district of Surrey; Westmoor near Hereford, Herefordshire; Westmoor, a hamlet in Northumberland, and Westmoor (End) in the Cockermouth rural district of Cumberland. The second element in the northern placenames may also be the Olde English "mor", moor, waste upland, fen. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their place of birth to settle elsewhere. On October 28th 1623, John Westmore and Ann Cruttenden were married in Sedlescombe, Sussex, and on December 7th 1651, Mary Westmer, an infant, was christened in Shorne, Kent. A Coat of Arms granted to the Westmore family of Lancashire is a black shield with a gold lion passant guardant, on a chief of the last three lozenges of the first. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Isabell de Westemere, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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