This unusual and interesting name is French in origin and is a topographical surname denoting someone who lived in or near a field or an expanse of open country. The derivation is from the Old French word "champ", meaning field or open land, from the Latin "campus", plain expanse of flat land. As a surname it could also apply to someone who lived in the countryside as opposed to a town. The modern English surname can be found as Camp, Campe and Champe, Camps. There are many European variations of the name, in French "Delcamp, Dechamp(s)" etc., in Italy, "Campi, Campari", etc., in Germany "Kampler" and so on. Among the sample recordings in London are the marriages of William Camps and Dorothy Pawley on February 13th 1717 at All Hallows, London Wall, and of Thomas Camps and Rachell Tayler on January 17th 1720 at St. Giles, Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joane Champe (christening), which was dated December 17th 1581, St. Andrew's, Enfield, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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