Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Pembertin, Pemberton, Permmerton, Pemton, Pimberton, Pimperton, Pimpton, Penburton, Pompton and others, this is an English surname. It has a very distinguished history with several notable entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography". It is locational from the district of Pemberton, south-west of Wigan, in the county of Lancashire. Recorded as "Penberton" in the Pipe Rolls of that county, dated 1201, and as "Pemberton" in the Book of Fees in 1212, the place was called from the Olde English pre 7th century "pen", meaning the summit of a hill, "bere", meaning barley, and "tun", a farm hence, "The barley farm on the hill". Locational surnames, such as this one were originally given to the lord of the manor, or as a easy means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname recordings include Alan de Pemberton of Lancashire, in 1202, and Thomas Pemmerton of Whitley, in the Cheshire Wills Records of 1595. Sir Francis Pemberton was the Lord chief-justice of England in 1681, whilst Thomas Pimperton was recorded at St Benets church, Pauls wharf, in the city of London, in 1744. The earliest arms have the blazon of a silver shield, a chevron ermines between three black griffins' heads couped. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Pemberton. This was dated 1189, in the Close Rolls of London, during the reign of King Richard, The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Information sourced from www.surnamedb.com