Chamberlen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Chamberlen family name to the British Isles. Chamberlen is a name for a person who worked as a chamberlain. A chamberlain was one who was in charge of the private chambers of a noble, and later was a high ranking title having derived from the Anglo-Norman French word, chamberlanc. 
"Chamberlain occurs most commonly in Leicestershire and Rutlandshire."  "There are several distinct families bearing the surname. Aiulfus Camerarius (the latinized form) was a tenant in chief in co. Dorset, and probably the Conqueror's own chamberlain. One of his possessions in that county is still called Hampreston-Chamberlaine. 
The Chamberlaynes of Maugersbury claim from John, count of Tancarville, whose descendants were hereditary chamberlains to kings Henry I., Stephen, and Henry II. The office of the camerarius was to take charge of the king's camera or treasury, and answered to the treasurer of the household at present. Besides Aiulfus above mentioned, at least five other tenants in capite so designated occur in Domesday. " 
Early Origins of the Chamberlen family
The surname Chamberlen was first found in Oxfordshire where they claim descent from John, Count de Tankerville, of Tankerville Castle in Normandy who accompanied Duke William on his Conquest of England only to return after the battle of Hastings to his hereditary estates. He left a son in England who became chamberlain to Henry I., and whose son, Richard assumed the surname of Chamberlain from his office. 
In Scotland, "the office of royal chamberlain was one of great responsibility in virtue of the fact that until the reign of James I he managed the king's revenue and was head of the Exchequer. The great nobles, also, had each a chamberlain who looked after his lord's business affairs. John Camerarius witnessed a confirmation charter by William the Lion, c. 1175. Walter Camerarius witnessed a charter by EsChina, wife of Walter Fitz Alan, before 1177" 
The principal line of the descendants were the Chamberlaynes of Sherborne in Oxfordshire "from whom derived the celebrated Sir Thomas Chamberlayne, of Prince Thorpe and Presbury, a distinguished diplomatist in the reigns of Henry VIII., Mary, and Elizabeth. " 
The hamlet of Stoney Thorpe in Warwickshire was home to a branch of the family. "The family of Chamberlayne, formerly of Princethorpe, in the county, has been seated here for many centuries; Henry Thomas Chamberlayne, Esq., is the present owner." 
Geoffrey le Chaumberleng was listed in the Curia Regis Roll for Warwickshire in 1194; Robert canberlenc in the Feet of Fines for 1195; Thomas Chamberleng' seruiens Regis was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1196; Martin le Chamberleyn in the Feet of Fines for Cambridgeshire in 1232; and Thomas le Chaumberlyn was found in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1293. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 proved the wide usage of the surname with various spellings throughout ancient Britain: Walter le Chamberlayn, Lincolnshire; Martin le Chaumberleyn, Cambridgeshire; Ivo le Chaumberleyn, Warwickshire; and Henry le Chamberlein, Buckinghamshire. 
Early History of the Chamberlen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chamberlen research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1616, 1703, 1619, 1689, 1560, 1631, 1572, 1626, 1540, 1596, 1576, 1813, 1632, 1715, 1632, 1720, 1667, 1691, 1690, 1625, 1643, 1643, 1635 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Chamberlen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chamberlen Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chamberlain, Chamberlayne, Chamberlaine, Chamblayn, Chamberlin, Camberlain, Camberlan, Camblayn and many more.
Early Notables of the Chamberlen family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Chamberlayne (1616-1703), an English writer, best known as the author of The Present State of England; William Chamberlayne (1619-1689), an English poet and physician.
Pierre (Peter) Chamberlen the Elder (1560-1631), and Peter the Younger (1572-1626), two brothers and sons of Guillaume (William) Chamberlen (c.1540-1596), a Huguenot surgeon who fled from Paris to England in 1576, famous for inventing the modern use of obstetrical forceps, a family secret kept for two centuries - the original forceps were found in 1813 under a trap door in Woodham Mortimer Hall.
Nicholas Chamberlaine (1632-1715), was an English priest...
Another 143 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chamberlen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chamberlen family to Ireland
Some of the Chamberlen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| Chamberlen migration to the United States ||+|
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Chamberlen or a variant listed above:
Chamberlen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Sarah Chamberlen, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Prodesse quam conspici
Motto Translation: To do good rather than be conspicuous.
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- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)