Kembor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Kembor family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. 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 Kembor family originally 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 Kembor family

The surname Kembor 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 Kembor family

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

Kembor 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 Kembor 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 Kembor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kembor family

Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Kembor or a variant listed above: Henry and Mary Kimber arrived in Philadelphia in 1753; John Kimber settled in Charles Town in 1764.



The Kembor 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. ^ Lower, 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)


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