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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The birthplace of the surname Champernon is Cornwall, a rugged peninsula in southwestern England that is noted for its strong Gaelic traditions. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Despite the fact that occupational surnames are rare among the Cornish People, they nevertheless sometimes adopted surnames derived from the type of work they did. The surname Champernon was an occupational name for a person in charge of the household of a nobleman. Interestingly, the name Champernon was originally derived from the title chamberlain, a word that originated as a name for the person in charge of a nobleman's sleeping quarters, and later came to encompass the role of running the household business.

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The surname Champernon was first found in Devon at Modbury, a market-town and parish, in the union of Kingsbridge, hundred of Ermington. "This place, called in Latin records Motberia, was in the possession of Wado in the time of the Confessor, and subsequently became the property of the Champernownes, of whom Richard Champernowne, in 1334, obtained permission to fortify his manorial residence here." [1]

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 Champernon, Champernoon, Champernown, Champernowne, Campernon, Campernoon, Campernown, Champernoun, Champernoune, Chambernon and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Champernon research. Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1280 and 1300 are included under the topic Early Champernon History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Champernon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Champernon were among those contributors: Arthur Champernoone who settled in Maine in 1622; Francis Champernowne settled in Maine in 1630.

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
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The Champernon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Champernon Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 February 2016 at 16:01.

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