Show ContentsChamme History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Chamme family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Chamme family originally lived in Devon, at the village of Chamonde.

Early Origins of the Chamme family

The surname Chamme was first found in Devon and Cornwall. The "manor called Trenoweth Chammon, [in the parish of St. Keverne] belonged formerly to the family of Chammon; and hence probably it assumed the name. It is now the property of the Vyvyan family." 1

"In the year 1537 the cell [in the parish of Launcells, Cornwall] was granted by Henry VIII. to Sir John Chamond; and here this family took up their residence for several generations. Carew says, 'Upon one side of the town lyeth Mr. Chamond's house and place of Launcells so called, for that it was sometimes a cell, appertaining to the abbot of Hartland. This gentleman's father lately deceased, received at God's hands an extraordinary favour of long life. He served in the office of a justice of peace almost sixty years. He knew fifty several judges of the western circuit. He was uncle and great uncle to at least 300; wherein yet his uncle and neighbour Mr. Grenville, parson of Kilkhampton, did exceed him. He married one of the daughters and heirs of Trevenner, and by her saw five sons and two daughters, the youngest outstepping forty years. Sir John Chamond, his father, a man learned in the common laws, was knighted at the sepulchre.' The last of this family died in 1624, to whose memory there is a monument in the parish church." 1

Early History of the Chamme family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chamme research. Another 210 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1181, 1273, 1488, 1500, 1529, 1537, 1539, 1540, 1544, 1553, 1559, 1584, 1586, 1587, 1588, 1589, 1593, 1606, 1607, 1611, 1753 and 1762 are included under the topic Early Chamme History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chamme Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Chamen, Chamme, Chammen, Chamund, Chamun, Chamin, Chammond and many more.

Early Notables of the Chamme family

Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Chamun, a prominent 13th century landholder in Cambridgeshire. Sir John Chamond (by 1488-1544), of Launcells, Cornwall, was an English lawyer and Member of Parliament. He was the High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1529 and 1537 and the Member of Parliament for Cornwall from 1539 to 1540. Emmanuel Chamond (c. 1553-1611), of the Middle Temple and St...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chamme Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Chamme family

In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Chamme were found: Mr. Chamin who arrived in San Francisco in 1851.

  1. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook