The surname of CAMP was a locational name 'the dweller at the camp' the field. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English word 'cempa'. Local names find their origins in the villages, towns and areas where people were born, or from the land they owned. In the Middle Ages, a man was identified by his place of birth and almost every city, town and village existing medieval times has originated one or more family names. Anyone leaving his birthplace would be known to new friends and neighbours by the name of his former residence, his birthplace, or the land he owned. Family names are a fashion we have inherited from the times of the Crusades in Europe, when knights identified one another by adding their place of birth to their first or Christian names. With so many knights, this was a very practical step. In the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries the nobles and upper classes, particularly those descended from the knights of the Crusades, recognised the prestige an extra name afforded them, and added the surname to the simple name given to them at birth. Early records of the name mention Felicia in Campo, County Cambridge, 1273. Johannes de Kempe was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Campe and Mary Farmer were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1609. Baptised. Mary and Elizabeth Camp, St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1736. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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