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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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 surname King was 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 Hundredorum Rolls of Norfolk at that time. The Hundredorum Rolls also lists Walter le Kyng in Cambridgeshire. [1]

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.


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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 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 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 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


King Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Isaac King, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Giles King, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Hooper King, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Ann King, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Cathe King, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750


King Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • James King, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • Jane King, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • Thomas King, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin
  • Patrick King, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway
  • Michael King, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway


King Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John King, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John King, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • James King, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Edward King, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • George King, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia


King Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • J King landed in Kororateka, New Zealand in 1836
  • John King landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Spencer King landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • William King landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James King, aged 28, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840


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  • Florence Virginia King (1936-2016), American novelist, essayist and columnist
  • Regina King (b. 1971), American Primetime Emmy Award winning film and television actress and director
  • John W. "Jack" King (1931-2015), American Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Officer for NASA, nicknamed the "Voice of Apollo"
  • Benjamin Earl "Ben E." King (1938-2015), American soul and R&B singer, best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me," inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Drifter
  • Riley "BB" King (1925-2015), famous American blues guitarist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, perhaps best known for his song "The Thrill is Gone"
  • Mr. George King (d. 1915), American 3rd Class passenger from W. Frankfort, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas Boyce King (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from Rye, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Mr. Harry King (d. 1915), American 3rd Class passenger from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Martha King (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from Lockport, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Steve King (1958-2014), American Grammy Award-winning sound engineer, best known for his work on The Eminem Show

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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. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  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 26 May 2016 at 12:42.

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