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 There Are Many Different Spellings of the Surname Jameson

The surname Jameson is anglicized version of the patronymic surname, meant to mean "the son of James." It is a surname of world wide popularity, given the universal use of the name James, in some form or another, in so many languages and cultures.

The Jameson surname is traditionally considered to be of Scottish origins, from a time before the Scots used surnames. Jameson, or the variations on this spelling (Jamison, Jamieson, Jamyson, Jamerson, Jimmerson, etc.), is the English translation of the Gaelic word MacKames or Machamish. The 'Mac' prefix meaning 'son of.' Kames or -hamish which in Gaelic is James, therefore son of James or Jameson. Alternately Maccamie, Mckkamy, Mackimmie, Macimmie and other variations meaning 'son of' Jamie were the root. James was a very common name in old Scotland, given it's importance as St. James of biblical meaning and because of the several Scottish and later English Kings from the mid 1400's into the 18th century. It is often said the name was taken by some in honor of the popular King(s).

Surnames were not commonly used or handed down from generation to generation, until about the mid 1300's, when a need to identify distinct families for the purpose of taxation and probably other civic needs, like census and conscriptions, became important. Because of it's patronymic nature, the surname Jameson developed widely without regards to a single origin. Thus, there are many totally unrelated families with this surname. Modern genetic testing has conclusively proven this to be true.

Variations with spelling are numerous and widespread. The most common are Jamieson, popular in early Scotland, Jamison, popular in old Ireland and Jameson which could be found in both Scotland, Ireland and in England. Nowadays all of these spellings, and more, can be found just about anywhere in the world. Adding to the confusion is that different spellings can be found on old and new documents for the same people or in different generations for the same families. Furthermore, we can find clear evidence of name changes, sometimes within members of the same family on immigration records from just about the beginnings in the 1600's to the present time. Much of this can undoubtedly be attributed to the interpretations of heavy accents by immigration officials, census takers, military officials and countless others. Sometimes these misspellings stuck. It is important to keep this in mind while reviewing any of the transcribed records of ships manifests in our database on this website.