This name PLUMMER is of two-fold origin, firstly it was a locational name 'the dweller by the plum trees' from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Secondly it was an occupational name 'the plumber', one who dealt in lead. The name was derived from the Old French word 'plomb' and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066 and William le Plummer, documented in London in 1189, appears to be the first of the name on record. Richard Plumb was documented in the year 1273 in County Cambridge, and Agnes Plombe (spinster) of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Agnes Plomb of County Chester, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1590. Robert Plumb, 1616, ibid. Ralph Plumer and Agnes Randell were married in London in 1566, and Richard Plumer and Deborah Atkins were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1739. John Plumer married Ann Finch at the same church in the year 1779. At first the coat of arms was purely practical, since the knight would be encased from head to foot in armour, the only way his followers could identify him was by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
William de Plumptre was mentioned in documents of the year 1330, and again in 1345, and is the ancestor of a family associated for centuries with County Nottinghamshire. Their name is derived from the village of Plumptre in the county, now spelt as Plumtree.
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