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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English King family come from? What is the English King family crest and coat of arms? When did the King family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the King family history?

The origins of the King surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a person who lived and acted like a king. It is derived from the Old English cyning or cyng, meaning "king," and was probably first bestowed as a nickname upon someone who was kingly in personality or appearance, or perhaps to someone who had played the king in a pageant.

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The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. King has been spelled many different ways, including King, Kings and others.

First found in Devon, where the name was first found about 1050. Geoffrey King brought the name to Cheshire in 1177 and by 1273 John King had established lands and estates in the county of Norfolk as evidenced by John le Kyng who was listed in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk at that time. The Hundred Rolls also lists Walter le Kyng in Cambridgeshire. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our King research. Another 277 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1050, 1177, 1273, 1247, 1421, 1467, 1600, 1432, 1503, 1500, 1600, 1676, 1621, 1611, 1621, 1592, 1669, 1606, 1681, 1660, 1688, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1648, 1712, 1663, 1712, 1706, 1717, 1717, 1637, 1797 and are included under the topic Early King History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 343 words(24 lines of text) are included under the topic Early King Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the King family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 203 words(14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Kings to arrive in North America:

King Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Samuel King, who landed at Plymouth in 1620
  • Henery King, who landed in Virginia in 1620
  • Daniel King, who came to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Allin and Alice King, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Dorothy and Anne King, who came to Massachusetts in 1635


King Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Dorman King, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Christopher King, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Anne King, who arrived in Virginia in 1711
  • Elizabeth King, who landed in Virginia in 1715
  • Andrew King, who arrived in Virginia in 1721


King Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Agness King, aged 62, landed in Massachusetts in 1812
  • Sarah King, who sailed from Scotland to South Carolina with her uncle John in 1820
  • Agnes King, who arrived in North Carolina in 1820
  • Henry King, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1828
  • Amos N King, who landed in Texas in 1835


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  • Riley "BB" King (b. 1925), famous American blues guitarist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), civil rights leader and gifted orator who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his dedication to the causes of nonviolence, social equality, and brotherly love
  • Larry King (b. 1933), host of CNN's popular show "Larry King Live" from 1985 to 2010
  • Stephen King (b. 1947), American author hailed as the "King of Horror" for his best-selling novels
  • Fleet Admiral Ernest Joseph King (1878-1956), Commander in chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations (COMINCH-CNO) during World War II
  • Colbert I. King (b. 1939), American reporter who won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
  • Billie Jean King (b. 1943), former professional tennis player and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Carole King (b. 1942), four-time Grammy Award-winning American singer, songwriter, and pianist
  • Major-General Edward Postell Jr. King (1884-1958), American Commanding General Northern Luzon (1941-1942)
  • Brigadier-General Henry Lord Page King (1895-1952), American Officer in Charge Military Personnel Division, War Department (1941-1944)

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  • History of the King Family in Flanders & America by Robert E. King.
  • Kennard, King, Knight, Hardin, Goodin by Alta Kennard Patterson.
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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The King Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The King Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 September 2014 at 05:55.

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