This interesting name is particularly associated with Scotland and is of unknown origin. In the form Nimmo it did not emerge until the 17th Century but it was known under the variants Nemo and Nemmock as far back as the mid 15th Century (see below). It has been suggested that the Nimmos are descendants of French protestant refugees, fleeing from persecution but they are certainly found in Scotland before 1572, the date of the massacre on St. Bartholomew's day. A number of references to the surname occur in official documents. One Alexander Nemok is recorded as a witness in the Glasgow protocols (1587). Alexander Nemo was "retoured" heir of John Nemo de Mydilmount in Kylestewart according to the Retours of Ayr (1616). A famous Nimmo was Alexander Nimmo (1783 - 1832) a civil engineer of St. Andrew's and Edinburgh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Newmoch, juror, which was dated 1459, Edmonstone Manuscripts, during the reign of King James 111 of Scotland, 1437 - 1460. 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.