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By Daniel Bruno, Chartered Market Technician
Post Graduate Diploma, Financial Strategy, Oxford University


Etymology of the name LAMPKIN

Lambert is a contraction of the words land and beorht(light). Lampkin is a patronymic. There are several contemporary forms of the name, exemplified by Edward Lampkinge, baptized at Holy Trinity, London on July 3rd 1555, Anthony Lamking (1613, Westminster) and Henry Lamkin (1600, London). One Rogerus Lambkin married Hannah Bowen on September 29th, 1649 at St. Martins in the Field, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the surname is that of Nicholas Lambekyn in 1301.

The pedigree of the Lampkin surname extends to Flemish weavers who immigrated to Northern Britain from 1331 at the request of King Edward III. They came from Flanders. Some spoke in an old French dialect and were known as "Walloons" from southern Belgium.

Dutch and Flemish immigration to the British isles began cerca 1150 and contributed to the development of British home-craft industries. The British Crown encouraged their immigration to Scotland to develop industry there as well. The immigrants became ardent Scottish patriots and in 1296 barricaded themselves at Red Hall during the Storming of Berwick.

They later migrated to Wales and the west of England where they developed the weaving and the woollen industries. In Norfolk, Suffolk and Hertford shire they specialized in paper making and built paper mills. Sir William Gresham was their leader.

Scholars have pored over manuscripts such as the Ragman Rolls of 1291-1296, an homage to King Edward the First of England; the Curia Regis Rolls, the Pipe Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, parish registers, baptismal and tax records... and found the first recorded name of Lampkin in Northumberland, where Lambekyn Flandrensis registered in 1178 after immigrating from Flanders. By the 13th century the family had branched out to London, with Lambekin de Lamburne and Lambekin de Carsell registered in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. (Bardsley)

During the Middle Ages numerous spellings of Lampkin were used: Lambkin, Lampkin, Lambking, Lamkin, Lamekin, Lambekin, Lambekyn, Lambkyn, Lamkyn, Lambekynus and Lambkynusand. Variations were common even amongst members of the same family.

In the 1370s Lamkynus de Braban, a prominent 14th century Flemish landholder, acquired property in Yorkshire.

In 1654 David Lampkin immigrated to the Virginia colony in North America.

Over the following two centuries, Lampkins settled in the Carolinas and Georgia. They exploited African slave labor to reap super-profits. They also intermingled their blood with the slaves. This assertion is supported by DNA testing on descendents of Charles Lampkin.



The Story of Ann Lampkin

In 1835 a child was born in Georgia, probably in Pulaski County. Her name was Ann. But the unjust laws of the land said she did not belong to her mother; instead, she was the property of a man named Lampkin, possibly Bob Lampkin, notorious for brutality and violence.

In 1854 she had her first son, George. Momentous events near and far were soon to change their lives forever.

In January 1861 Georgia seceded from the United States. The Civil War started in April.
On January 1, 1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and on November 19 delivers his Gettysburg Address. The Proclamation made the abolition of slavery a central goal of the war and also meant that slaves like Ann and her son would be freed where ever Union armies advanced. The proclamation represented a shift in the war objectives of the North-reuniting the nation was no longer the only stated objective.

The Gettysburg Address further cemented this goal by making reference to equality, making the Civil War not just a struggle over States Rights, but a moral crusade against slavery. Scholars consider this two minute speech the most significant in American history. During this year, Ann's son Joseph was born.

On May 7 1864 General William T. Sherman advances on Atlanta. On September 2 he captured the city. On November 22, Confederate forces were crushed at the Battle of Griswoldville near Pulaski County and on December 22 Sherman took Savannah in his "March to the Sea."

Panic swept through the region. Planters abandoned their plantations and fled for their lives. Slaves were esctatic.


On July 9, 1868, the Fourteenth Amendement conferred U.S. citizenship on Ann and her children and on August 4, 1870, they were listed in the U.S. Census as a homemaker, field hand and toddler.

By 1881 Ann was living in Tuskegee, Alabama, where she owned some land. One day a 25 year old stranger passed through and needed assistance, which she gave him. His name was Booker T. Washington. She and her church sisters raised large sums of money for his Tuskegee Institute, part of which was built on her property.

In 1883 Ann's son Joseph had a son of his own in Eufaula, Alabama. His name was Edgar.

In June, 1902, Edgar married Sarah Biddell at her home in Montgomery's Ward 4. Edgar Jr. was born in 1908. Emmet was born in 1910. A third son was born in 1913 but was not expected to survive. The obstetrician prepared a death certificate for the jaundiced, sickly infant.

But Ann Lampkin, Edgar's grandmother, now 78, would have none of it. She took the hapless newborn into her care. She prayed to the Almighty and sang the Spirituals she learned as a slave:

O, Jesus, my Saviour, on Thee I'll depend
When troubles are near me you'll be my true friend

I'm troubled
I'm troubled
I'm troubled in mind
If Jesus don't help me
I surely will die

When ladened with troubles and burdened with grief
To Jesus in secret I'll go for relief

In dark days of bondage to Jesus I prayed
To help me to bear it, and He gave me His aid

How I got over,
How I got over, my Lord
And my soul looked back and wondered
How I got over, my Lord
The tallest tree in Paradise
The Christians call it tree of life
And my soul looked back and wondered
How I got over, my Lord
Lord, I've been 'buked and I've been scorned
And I've been talked 'bout as sure as you're born
And my soul looked back and wondered
How I got over, my Lord
Oh, Jordan's river is so chilly and cold
It will chill your body but not your soul
And my soul looked back and wondered
How I got over, my Lord

A few days later, the child was back from the brink. He had made it.

His name was Charles Lampkin.

"We have this wonderful store of folk music-the melodies of an enslaved people, who poured out their longings, their griefs and their aspiration in the one great, universal language. But this store will be of no value unless we utilize it ... unless our musical architects take the rough timber of Negro themes and fashion from it music, which will prove that we, too, have national feelings and characteristics".
R. N. Dett (1918)

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