Gemson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Gemson name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived on the bank of a river or stream named the of Cam. The surname Gemson is topographic in nature, the type of surname that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a river or stream. The surname also refers to the camb, which is the crest of a hill or a dike.

Early Origins of the Gemson family

The surname Gemson was first found in Gloucestershire, where the name is associated with the village of Cam, a parish, in the union of Dursley, Upper division of the hundred of Berkeley.

"This place is distinguished as the scene of a battle fought between the Saxons and the Danes, in the reign of Edward the Elder. The parish takes its name from a rivulet that divides it into Upper and Lower, and falls into the Severn at Frampton." [1]

In the Domesday Book survey of 1086 Cam was recorded as King's land. [2] Early in the history of the family name it branched to Lincolnshire, where Ralph de Caham was registered in 1162, to Norfolk, where Osbert de Cam was living during the reign of King Henry II, and to Hampshire, where Fabian de Cam was recorded in 1184 and William Cam in 1205. By the 13th century the name was established in Somerset, where William de Camme was living in 1214. Hugh de Camme was a resident of Gloucestershire in 1221. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists the following: Henry del Cam, Suffolk; and Robert de Cam, Oxfordshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus Cambe, conttabularius; Johannes Cambe; and Nicholaus Cambe as all holding lands there at that time. [4]

Early History of the Gemson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gemson research. Another 258 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1275, 1326, 1500, 1633, 1716, 1733, 1771, 1326, 1415, 1399, 1627, 1705, 1627, 1604, 1656, 1641, 1707 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Gemson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gemson Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Gemson has undergone many spelling variations, including Cam, Camm, Camme, Caham, Cahm, Cahme and others.

Early Notables of the Gemson family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John de Cam, the Rector of Kirkby-Cane in Norfolk in 1326. David Gam (d. 1415), was a Welsh warrior, "more properly styled Davydd ab Llewelyn. 'Gam' is a nickname meaning 'squinting,' which, like other Welsh nicknames, became equivalent to a surname. David's father was Llewelyn, the son of Hywel, the son of Eineon Sais. Llewelyn possessed fair estates in the parishes of Garthbrengy and Llanddew,which lay within the honour or lordship of Brecon, a dependency of the earldom of Hereford, and after 1399 lapsed to the crown by the accession of Henry IV...
Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gemson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gemson family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gemson were among those contributors: Thomas Cam who arrived in Maine in 1605.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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