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Gamley Coat of Arms / Gamley Family Crest

The surname of GAMLEY was derived from the Old Norman byname 'gamall' a nickname given to an old man.It was also occasionally used in Northern England during the Middle Ages as a given name. The name is als spelt GAMBLE,GAMMELL, GAMMIL,and GEMMELL. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Early records of the name mention GAMEL (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Elena GAMYLL of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John GAMBLE and Ann Beck were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1673. An interesting member of the name was Josias Christopher GAMBLE (1776-1848) the Scottish industrialist born in Enniskillen. He was a founder of the British chemical industry, and manufactured bleaching powders, soda ash and sulphuric acid. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that it became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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