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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Kempton family come from? What is the English Kempton family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kempton family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kempton family history?

The family name Kempton is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon names of Britain. It was originally a name for a person who worked as a person whose father was a knight or soldier. The surname Kempton 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. The name also features the popular patronymic suffix -son, which was most common in the north of England and superseded other patronymic suffixes in prominence during the 14th century.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Kempton include Kempson, Kempston, Kimpson, Kempton, Kempstone and many more.

First found in Staffordshire where they were Lords of the Manor. This ancient family, some say, where seated in this shire before the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kempton research. Another 263 words (19 lines of text) covering the year 1728 is included under the topic Early Kempton History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Kempton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Kempton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Kempton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Ephraim Kempton, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
  • Menassah Kempton, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
  • Ephraim Kempton settled in New England in 1635
  • Manasseh Kempton settled in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1635
  • William Kempton settled in Virginia in 1653

Kempton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Kempton settled in Jamaica in 1717
  • Mary Kempton settled in Maryland in 1737

Kempton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • A. Kempton settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1821
  • William Kempton settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876

Kempton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Kempton, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • John Kempton arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Countess of Yarborough" in 1850

Kempton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Kempton landed in Ohiro, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Adelaide
  • Thomas Kempton, aged 28, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adelaide" in 1858
  • Mary Ann Kempton, aged 26, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adelaide" in 1858
  • Thomas Kempton, aged 3, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adelaide" in 1858
  • Henry Kempton, aged under 1, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adelaide" in 1858


  • Gloria Kempton (b. 1951), American author, best known for her book Write Great Fiction: Dialogue
  • Martha Greta Kempton (1901-1991), Austrian-born, American artist who served as the White House artist during the Truman administration
  • Timothy Joseph "Tim" Kempton (b. 1964), retired American professional basketball player who played from 1986 to 1998
  • James Murray Kempton (1917-1997), American reporter who won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
  • Rez Kempton, British actor and producer, known for work in I Can't Think Straight (2008), The Divide (2004) and Amar Akbar & Tony (2014)
  • David Kempton (b. 1956), Australian Liberal National politician, Member of the Queensland Parliament for Cook (2012-)
  • Adam Kidman Kempton (b. 1957), Australian politician, Member for Warrnambool, Victoria (1983-1985)


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  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Kempton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kempton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 January 2016 at 16:55.

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