- This very unusual and interesting name is generally accepted as being a medieval English metonymic occupational name for one who made or sold "cameline", a kind of cloth made from camel-hair. The derivation is from the Anglo-Norman-French "camelin", itself a descendant from the Latin "camelinus", a derivative of "camelus", the camel. The word and the trade is thought to have been introduced to England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Invasion of 1066. This type of job-descriptive surname originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, they later became hereditary, but not usually before the 13th century. However there is a second possibility in that this name could in some cases at least, be an example of the medieval practice of creating a surname from a nickname. The nickname would have been applied to one who habitually wore clothes made of camel-hair cloth, no doubt distinction in itself. Early examples of the surname recordings include William Campeling in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, John Camplyon, rector of Rackheath Parva, Norfolk, in the year 1404, and James Camplen of Yorkshire in 1664, Other recordings are those of John Cambling at St Mary-le-Bone, London in 1685, and Sarah Camblin, at St Botolphs Bishopgate, London in 1737. In the modern idiom the name can be found recorded as Camblin, Cambling, Campling, Camplin, Camplen, Camelin, Kimbling, and Kimblen. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Campelin, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.