Gimbel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Gimbel. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Gimbel family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Gimbel is a local type of surname and the Gimbel family lived in the county of Cornwall at South Kimber. [1] Alternatively, the name could have been an occupational name for 'the comber,' a wool-comber. [2]

Early Origins of the Gimbel family

The surname Gimbel was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. West and East Kimber are in Devon and both parishes date back to shortly after the Conquest.

Early History of the Gimbel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gimbel research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1643, 1793, 1711, 1818, 1617, 1779, 1545, 1642, 1662, 1692, 1755, 1719, 1769, 1742 and 1744 are included under the topic Early Gimbel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gimbel Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Kimber, Kember and others.

Early Notables of the Gimbel family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Isaac Kimber (1692-1755), an English General Baptist minister, biographer, and journalist from Wantage, Berkshire. His son, Edward Kimber (1719-1769) was...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gimbel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gimbel migration to the United States +

An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Gimbel or a variant listed above:

Gimbel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Gimbel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752-1753 [3]
  • Henry Gimbel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1761 [3]
Gimbel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johann Gimbel, aged 48, who landed in New York, NY in 1873 [3]


The Gimbel Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Frangas non flectes
Motto Translation: Thou may'st break, but shalt not bend me.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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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