Kemball History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the name Kemball date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The name is derived from Buckinghamshire at either Great Kimble or Little Kimble, parishes in the union of Wycombe, hundred of Aylesbury. "[Great Kimble] according to old records, was anciently called Kunebel, from Cunobelin, or Cymbeline, the British king, whose sons here gallantly opposed the Romans, but were defeated, and one of them slain. There are still the remains of several intrenchments on the supposed field of battle; and on a circular mound in the neighbourhood are vestiges of a fortification termed Belinus' Castle, where it is said Cunobelin dwelt. " [1]

Both places are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 collectively as Chenebelle, and literally meant "royal bell-shaped hill," from the Old English words "cyne" + "bell." [2]

Early Origins of the Kemball family

The surname Kemball was first found in Wiltshire where Turbet filius Chembel was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1130. A few years later, Richard Cembel was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Huntingdonshire, and later Roger Cumbel, Chimbel, Kymbel, Kimbel was found in the Pipe Rolls for Warwickshire, 1191-1193. Over in Suffolk, John Kennebelle was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for 1327. [3]

Robert Kinebald was found in Somerset 1215-1221; Ralph Kenebold in the 13th century on the Isle of Wight; William Kembald in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1302; William Kenebold and Nicholas Kembol, both in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327. [3]

Hugo de Kenebell was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Berkshire in 1196; Roger de Kinebelle in the Hundredorum Rolls for Berkshire in 1255; and Thomas de Kymble was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1327. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two entries for the family: Richard de Kinebell Buckinghamshire; and John de Kinebelle, Oxfordshire. [4]

In Norfolk, Nicholas Kymbell was listed there 3 Henry IV (during the third year of King Henry IV's reign.) [5]

Early History of the Kemball family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kemball research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1680, 1657, 1736, 1742, 1654, 1729, 1751, 1754, 1599, 1679, 1625, 1678, 1679, 1721, 1802, 1721, 1804, 1752, 1758, 1822 and 1758 are included under the topic Early Kemball History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kemball Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Kemball include Kimball, Kimbell, Kimbel, Kemple, Kemble, Kimble and others.

Early Notables of the Kemball family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Saint John Kemble (1599-1679), an English Roman Catholic martyr, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He "appears to have been son of George Kemble of Longford, Herefordshire. He was ordained priest at Douay 23 Feb. 1625, and on 4 June was sent on the mission in Herefordshire. In 1678, at the time of the Popish plot, he was seized at Pembridge Castle, Herefordshire, where he was living as chaplain to the Scudamore family. He was tried at Hereford, convicted as having said mass at Pembridge, and executed at Widemarsh Common...
Another 256 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kemball Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kemball migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Kemball or a variant listed above:

Kemball Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henery Kemball, aged 44, who landed in New England in 1634 [6]
  • Henry Kemball, aged 15, who arrived in New England in 1634 [6]
  • John Kemball, aged 3, who landed in New England in 1634 [6]
  • Martha Kemball, aged 5, who arrived in New England in 1634 [6]
  • Mary Kemball, aged 9, who landed in New England in 1634 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Kemball migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kemball Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Kemball migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kemball Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Arthur C Kemball, (b. 1802), aged 39, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand via Wellington on 7th November 1841 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kemball (post 1700) +

  • Air Marshal Sir Richard John Kemball KCB, CBE, DL (b. 1939), British Royal Air Force officer who became Deputy Commander of Strike Command
  • Major-General Sir George Vere Kemball KCMG, CB, DSO, R.A. (1859-1941), British Army officer


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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