This interesting surname is of English locational origin, from a dialectal variant of a place named Empingham in Rutland. The placename is derived from the old English pre 7th Century "Empa" a personal name related to the old Gaelic Ampho, "ing" meaning people of and "ham" a homestead; hence "the homestead of Empa's people". The place was first recorded as Epingeham in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the surname is first found registered in the mid 16th Century (see below). The following are recordings of the surname from the Lincolnshire church registers; Robert Empringham christened on July 27th 1545, at St.James, Grimsby; Joshuae, son of William Empringham, christened on February 16th 1557, at South Ferriby; on December 8th 1561, Richerd Empringham at St. James, Grimsby and on August 3rd 1577, Annas, daughter of William Empringham, was christened at Bonby. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Empringham, witness at christening, which was dated February 16th 1544, St. James, Grimsby, Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry V11, "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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