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.

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.

Important Dates for the Gimbel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gimbel research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1327 and 1643 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)

More information is included under the topic Early Gimbel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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 [1]
  • Henry Gimbel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1761 [1]
Gimbel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johann Gimbel, aged 48, who landed in New York, NY in 1873 [1]


  1. ^ 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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