Gambles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gambles arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Gambles comes from the given name Gamel, which was common among the Danes and the Normans. The name Gambles was ultimately derived from the Old Norman word Gamall, which means old.

Another source notes: "this surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Gamel,' a once popular but now forgotten North-English personal name. It is compounded with many local names. The modern accepted surname form is Gamble and Gambles." [1]

Early Origins of the Gambles family

The surname Gambles was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where Gamel is listed. [2] Later in Yorkshire, Gamel Auceps was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1158 and later again, Simon Gamel was found in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202. Back in Yorkshire, Adam Gamel was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1260. Jordan Gambel was also listed in 1297. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 mentions Huttred filius Gamelli in Northumberland and Alan filius Gamel in Shropshire. Much later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Elena Gamyll; Henricus Gamyll; Johannes Gamyll; and Johannes Gamolson as all holding lands there at that time. [1]

"Fitz Gamell is also found. From the Anglo-Saxon gamol or gamel, old, aged. It is compounded with some Domesday names, as Gamel-bar, ' old bear' - Gamel-carle, 'old male,' - both in Yorkshire." [4]

Early History of the Gambles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gambles research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1158, 1297, 1450, 1687, 1666, 1865, 1618, 1629, 1640, 1659, 1663, 1670 and are included under the topic Early Gambles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gambles Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Gamble, Gambel, Gambol and others.

Early Notables of the Gambles family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Gamble (died 1687), composer and musician in the court of King Charles I of England and King Charles II of...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gambles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gambles family to Ireland

Some of the Gambles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 243 words (17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gambles migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gambles or a variant listed above:

Gambles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Gambles, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1864 [5]


  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)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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