The proud Kember family originated in Cornwall
, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England
. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name
. The manner in which hereditary surnames
arose is interesting. Local
surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Kember family originally lived in the county of Cornwall
at South Kimber.
Early Origins of the Kember family
The surname Kember 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.
Early History of the Kember family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kember research.Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1327 and 1643 are included under the topic Early Kember History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kember 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 Kember family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Kember Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kember family to the New World and Oceana
In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Kember were found:
Kember Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Kember, who landed in Maryland in 1659 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Contemporary Notables of the name Kember (post 1700)
- Stephen Dennis "Steve" Kember (b. 1948), English former footballer from Croydon, South London who played from 1965 to 1981 and managed from 1981 to 2003
- Peter Kember (b. 1965), English musician and producer, founding member of alternative rock band Spacemen 3
- Lorraine Kember (b. 1950), Australian author, blogger, caregiver advocate, and motivational speaker
- Rosamond Jane "Ros" Kember (b. 1985), New Zealand cricketer who played three women's One Day Internationals for the New Zealand
- Gerald Francis Kember (b. 1945), former New Zealand rugby union player
- Reginald Walter "RW" Kember (b. 1983), South African rugby union footballer
- Norman Frank Kember (b. 1931), Canadian-born, emeritus professor of biophysics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
The Kember 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.