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.

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.

Early History of the Kimber family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kimber research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1327 and 1643 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)

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


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 [1]
Kimber Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henrich Kimber, aged 20, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 [1]
  • 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 [1]
  • James Kimber, who landed in New York in 1834 [1]
  • George Kimber, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [1]
  • Charles Kimber, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [1]
  • John Kimber, aged 19, who arrived in New York in 1862 [1]

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
  • William Kimber, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" [2]
  • Charles Kimber, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Woodall" in 1849 [3]
  • William Kimber, aged 24, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" in 1849 [2]
  • John Kimber, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Spartan" in 1849 [4]

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) +

  • Sam Kimber (1854-1925), American 19th century Major League Baseball player
  • William "Merry" Kimber (1872-1961), English concertina player and Morris Dancer
  • Sir Sidney Guy Kimber (1873-1949), British politician
  • René-Joseph Kimber (1786-1843), Canadian physician and political figure in Lower Canada and Canada East
  • Kimber "Kim" Cornellus Sigler (1894-1953), American politician

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Maud  Kimber (1882-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [5]


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. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SAMUEL BODDINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SamuelBoddington.htm
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN WOODALL 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849JohnWoodall.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SPARTAN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Spartan.htm
  5. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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