Caesar

Caesar - what does Caesar surname mean?

Surely one of the most unusual of all English surnames, it is of very early recording and has been used both as a personal and a surname, an example being `Cesar Clericus`, (Caesar the Clerk) in the roll of the Knight Templars (Crusaders) for Yorkshire in the year 1185. Normally `Caesar` as a surname, was a medieval nickname for one who acted the part of Julius Caesar in the travelling theatre and pageants of the period, or possibly one who possessed the (believed) airs or appearance of a Caesar! The surname was prominent in the 16th Century, Sir Julius Caesar (1558 - 1636), being the son of Dr. Cesare Adelmar who emigrated to England from Italy in 1550. He became Physician to Queen Elizabeth Ist, and adopted the surname of `Caesar`. Surnames fall into five main categories, although these can be subdivided many times. These are locational, topographical, occupational, patronymic and bynames or nicknames. Every country has some in each class although Scandanavian, Russian and Gaelic-Celtic nations for instance, are overwhelmingly patronymic, whilst English, French, and German, are evenly spread between each type. Italian surnames often include double or triple patronymics, and popular Spanish and Portugese surnames can derive from 5th century Visigoth (Early German) compounds! Hereditary surnames are rare in all countries before the year 1200, and those few that were hereditary were usually French or of Frankish origins. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Sesare, which was dated 1334, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Kent, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as `The Father of the Navy`, 1327 - 1377. 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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