Kemray is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Kemray 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 Kemray family
The surname Kemray 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.
Early History of the Kemray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kemray research.Another 495 words (35 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1199, 1203, 1273, 1500, 1664, 1701, 1798 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Kemray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kemray Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Cambrey, Cambray, Cambrai, Combray, Cambreye, Camray and many more.
Early Notables of the Kemray family (pre 1700)
Another 21 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kemray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kemray family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Kemray or a variant listed above: Joseph Cambrey who arrived in Philadelphia in 1847.