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Our 2,765 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

I mainly hold family history data from circa 1513 for the Emm/Emme surname and other Emm/Emms/Emme information. Most of the information is UK based.

The world's first EMMPOSIUM took place on the 27th and 28th May 2006 in Wiltshire, UK for anyone with the surname Emm, Emme or Emms - by marriage or maiden name. It was a tremendous success. The next one is being held in Bratton and Broad Chalke, Wiltshire on the 3rd and 4th May 2014. Please contact me for details. Anyone with Emm or Emms in their family history is welcome to attend.

Variant names


Name origin

There are several suggestions as to where EMM originates from; a corruption of Emmerson - the son of Emma (which I think is unlikely) being one example to a corruption of the French word Ami (friend) and the surname Ames and Emm as another. It would appear that Emm has been regarded as an 'odd' name for centuries as there are many instances where two Emm(s) have married and renamed themselves Emms or have just called themselves Emms because people understand this surname more easily than that of Emm.

Historical occurrences of the name

Sir Henry Em (Eam) was a stranger knight and an original member of the Order of the Garter founded by Edward III in 1348. It is an Emm myth that he was the Black Prince's bodyguard. However, no Emm researcher has discovered any descendants from this man.

In 1860, a cordwainer, Walter Thomas Emms, was tried in the celebrated (and infamous) Stepney Murder Case. He was acquitted but the other suspect, John/James Mullins, was hanged. Sir Conan Doyle investigated the murder himself in 1901.

Obviously, everyone is now aware of the World Champion badminton athlete, Gail Emms and her badminton partner Nathan Robertson but have you also heard of the late-Victorian artist John Emms and Hettie King, the music-hall artiste whose real name was Winifred Emms? Oh, and Diana Dors' second husband, the late Richard Dickie Dawson was, originally, Colin Emm.

For further information on these, please contact me.

Name frequency


Distribution of the name

The Emm/Emme surname appears to have started around the Wiltshire, (UK) area, although, since emigration and the largescale movement of people, it is now found all around the world. Emm (s) are found in the Broad Chalke area of Wiltshire from circa 1720. Before this, they were still bordering Salisbury Plain but further north in Sutton Veny and Bratton.

The Emms surname is largely based in Norfolk.

The Emm contingent in the US, however, is largely based on German immigration.




We have started a DNA exploration of the descendants of Walter Emm (see above) and the main tranche of the Emm family. We have found a connection but this is before approximately 1750. We are also trying to see if there is a link between the Emms surname and Emm. Please contact me if you would like to take part.