Kempson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Kempson has been recorded in British history since the time when the Anglo-Saxons ruled over the region. The name is assumed to have been given to someone who was a person whose father was a knight or soldier. The surname Kempson was originally derived from the Old English word kemp, which came from the Old English word cempa, which means warrior and occasionally means athlete or wrestler. [1] The name also features the popular patronymic suffix -son, which was most common in the north of England and superseded other patronymic suffixes in prominence during the 14th century.

Early Origins of the Kempson family

The surname Kempson was first found in Kempston, parishes in Bedfordshire and Norfolk. "This parish [in Bedfordshire], in the Domesday Survey Camestone, comprises about 5000 acres; the soil in the valley of the Ouse is gravelly, and in other parts clay." [2]

The first record of the family was Peter de Kemeston who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire in 1190. Years later the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Berkshire listed Simon de Kempston and later again, Symond Kempston was listed in 1426 in the Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century. [3] Richard Kemson was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [1]

Early History of the Kempson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kempson research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1728, 1661, 1662, 1683, 1684, 1726 and are included under the topic Early Kempson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kempson Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Kempson has been spelled many different ways, including Kempson, Kempston, Kimpson, Kempton, Kempstone and many more.

Early Notables of the Kempson family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Kempson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Kempson family to Ireland

Some of the Kempson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Kempson migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Kempsons to arrive in North America:

Kempson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Kempson who settled in Virginia in 1734
Kempson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Kempson, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856

Australia Kempson migration to Australia +

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

Kempson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Susan Kempson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anglia" in 1851 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kempson (post 1700) +

  • Rachel Kempson (1910-2003), English actress, mother of actress Vanessa Redgrave
  • Edwin Hone Kempson (1862-1931), English clergyman, Bishop of Warrington (1920-1927)
  • Elizabeth Ann "Lily" Kempson (1897-1996), Irish rebel, who was a member of the Irish Volunteer Army, a precursor to the IRA, and was the last surviving member of the Easter Irish Rebellion Uprising of 1916

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Eric John Kempson, British Lieutenant, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [5]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Maitland Kempson, English 1st Class Passenger residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [6]

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ANGLIA 1851. Retrieved
  5. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  6. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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