The birthplace of the surname Champernowne 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 Champernowne was an occupational name for a person in charge of the household of a nobleman.
Interestingly, the name Champernowne 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.
Early Origins of the Champernowne family
The surname Champernowne 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Champernowne family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Champernowne research.Another 179 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1280 and 1300 are included under the topic Early Champernowne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Champernowne 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 Champernon, Champernoon, Champernown, Champernowne, Campernon, Campernoon, Campernown, Champernoun, Champernoune, Chambernon and many more.
Early Notables of the Champernowne family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Champernowne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Champernowne family to the New World and Oceana
Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Champernowne were among those contributors:
Champernowne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Francis Champernowne, who settled in Maine in 1630
Contemporary Notables of the name Champernowne (post 1700)
- David Gawen Champernowne (1912-2000), Professor of Statistical Economics at Oxford (1948-1959)
- David Champernowne, Professor of Economics, Cambridge