Kembray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Kembray is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Kembray family lived in Leicestershire. The family name, though, is a reference to the area of Cambrai, near Falaise, in Normandy. Originally erected in the 6th century as the Diocese of Cambrai, its jurisdiction was immense and included even Brussels and Antwerp.
Early Origins of the Kembray family
The surname Kembray was first found in Leicestershire, where Godridius (Geoffroi) de Chambrai was awarded estates in return for his service to William the Conqueror. Wace, the Norman poet, mentions Cil de Combrai as one of the knights who challenged King Harold to come forth at Senlac in 1066 and this is probably a reference to Geoffroi de Cambrai.
Important Dates for the Kembray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kembray research. Another 248 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1199, 1203, 1273, 1500, 1664, 1701, 1798 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Kembray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kembray Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval 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. The name has been spelled Cambrey, Cambray, Cambrai, Combray, Cambreye, Camray and many more.
Early Notables of the Kembray family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Kembray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kembray family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Kembray or a variant listed above: Joseph Cambrey who arrived in Philadelphia in 1847.