Kemble History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Kemble was formed. The name was 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 Kemble family

The surname Kemble 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 Kemble family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kemble 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 Kemble History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kemble Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Kemble include Kimball, Kimbell, Kimbel, Kemple, Kemble, Kimble and others.

Early Notables of the Kemble 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 Kemble Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kemble Ranking

In the United States, the name Kemble is the 16,121st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]


United States Kemble migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Kemble were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Kemble Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Kemble, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [7]
Kemble Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • E C Kemble, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [7]
Kemble Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Kemble, (b. 1878), aged 26, Cornish settler, from Truro, Cornwall, Up travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 15th October 1904 en route to Los Angeles, California, USA [8]
  • Miss Lilian May Kemble, (b. 1904), aged 8 months, Cornish settler, from Truro, Cornwall, Up travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 15th October 1904 en route to Los Angeles, California, USA [8]

Canada Kemble migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kemble Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • J R Kemble, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Kemble migration to Australia +

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

Kemble Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Kemble, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1849 [9]

New Zealand Kemble 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:

Kemble Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Kemble, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Adelaide
  • William Kemble, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "African" in 1860

Contemporary Notables of the name Kemble (post 1700) +

  • Edwin C. Kemble (1889-1984), North American physicist
  • Gouverneur Kemble (1786-1875), North American industrialist and two-term United States Congressman
  • William Henry Kemble (d. 1891), American Republican politician, Pennsylvania State Treasurer, 1865-68; Member of Republican National Committee from Pennsylvania, 1868- [10]
  • John C. Kemble, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Rensselaer County, 1832; Member of New York State Senate 3rd District, 1834-36; Resigned 1836 [10]
  • Gouverneur Kemble (1786-1875), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from New York 4th District, 1837-41; Delegate to New York State Constitutional Convention, 1846 [10]
  • Charles S. Kemble, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Burlington County, 1858-59 [10]
  • Charles R. Kemble, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1928 [10]
  • Benjamin Kemble, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Burlington County, 1847-49 [10]
  • Adelaide Kemble (1815-1879), English opera singer
  • Roger Kemble (1721-1802), English strolling player and manager of the Warwickshire Company of Comedians
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARPLEY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Harpley.htm
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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