Kimber History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Kimber family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. 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 Kimber 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 Kimber family

The surname Kimber 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 Kimber family

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

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

Kimber Ranking

In the United States, the name Kimber is the 6,484th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

United States Kimber migration to the United States +

A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Kimber:

Kimber Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Martha Kimber, aged 22, who landed in Virginia in 1683 [4]
Kimber Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henrich Kimber, aged 20, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 [4]
  • Henry and Mary Kimber, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1753
  • John Kimber, who settled in Charles Town in 1764
Kimber Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Kimber, who arrived in New York in 1834 [4]
  • James Kimber, who landed in New York in 1834 [4]
  • George Kimber, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [4]
  • Charles Kimber, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [4]
  • John Kimber, aged 19, who arrived in New York in 1862 [4]

Australia Kimber migration to Australia +

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

Kimber Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Kimber, (b. 1756), aged 63, English gardener who was convicted in Berkshire, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1838 [5]
  • Mr. Joseph Kimber, (b. 1798), aged 37, English farm servant who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "England" on 6th June 1835, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1836 [6]
  • Miss Hannah Kimber, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 16th November 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • William Kimber, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" [8]
  • Charles Kimber, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Woodall" in 1849 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Kimber migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kimber Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Kimber, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875
  • John Kimber, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Kimber (post 1700) +

  • Chawne Monique Kimber (b. 1971), American mathematician and quilter, professor at Lafayette College
  • Samuel Jackson "Sam" Kimber (1854-1925), American Major League Baseball player who pitched one full season for the 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics
  • Glenn Kimber, American author and educator who founded Kimber Academy, a network of private schools
  • Simon Julian Spencer Kimber (b. 1963), former English first-class cricketer who played first-class and List A cricket in the 1980s and 1990s
  • Bobbie Kimber (1920-1993), born Ronald Victor Kimberley, an English ventriloquist, who performed as a female impersonator
  • Cecil Kimber (1888-1945), English motor car designer from London, best known for his role in being the driving force behind The M.G. Car Company, eponym of the failed Project Kimber in 2006
  • William "Merry" Kimber (1872-1961), English concertina player and Morris Dancer
  • Sir Charles Dixon Kimber (1912-2008), 3rd Baronet, born in Surrey he was at the debate at the Oxford Union in 1933 where the House resolved that it would not fight for King and Country. He was secretary of the Labour Party in Totnes
  • Wayne Allan Kimber (1949-2004), New Zealand politician of the National Party, born in Auckland
  • Sir Sidney Guy Kimber (1873-1949), British politician born in Highfield, Southampton
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Maud  Kimber (1882-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion (1917) but later died due to injuries [10]

The Kimber 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)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th April 2022).
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th March 2022). Retrieved from
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SAMUEL BODDINGTON 1849. Retrieved from
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN WOODALL 1849. Retrieved from
  10. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook