This Spanish surname was an occupational name for someone who was employed in the private living quarters of his master, rather than in the public halls of the manor. The name represents a plural form of the Old French Chaumbre (chambers) and is synonymous in origin with a chamberlain, but as that office rose in the social scale the former term remained reserved for more humble servants of the bed chamber. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CAMERA. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. The name is also spelt CAMERARIUS. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. A noteable member of the name was Joachim CAMERARIUS (1500-74) the German classical scholar, who changed his original name of Liebhard into CAMERARIUS, because his forefathers had been Kammerer (chamberlains) to the bishops of Bamberg. He produced several editions of the classical authors, wrote a biography of Melanchthon (1566) and edited his letters (1569). In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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