King History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the King surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a person who lived and acted like a king. It is derived from the Old English cyning or cyng, meaning "king," and was probably first bestowed as a nickname upon someone who was kingly in personality or appearance, or perhaps to someone who had played the king in a pageant.

As one source notes, it is curious that the name "Queen" is not as popular as it should be given the similar importance of the title in ancient times. [1]

Early Origins of the King family

The surname King was first found in Devon, where the name was first found about 1050. [2] Geoffrey King brought the name to Cheshire in 1177 and by 1273 John King had established lands and estates in the county of Norfolk as evidenced by John le Kyng who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of Norfolk at that time. The Hundredorum Rolls also lists Walter le Kyng in Cambridgeshire. [1]

Regional distribution of the name is interesting. "Mostly confined south of a line drawn from the Wash to the southern border of Shropshire. North of this line the name rapidly diminishes in frequency, being absent from my list in nearly all the counties thus marked off. It is rare also in the extreme south - west, in Devon and Cornwall. It is best represented in Beds, Bucks, Suffolk, and Wilts. The name is sparingly represented in Scotland." [3]

In Scotland, it was "a surname of some antiquity and still met with in many parts of the country, Berwick, Fife, and Aberdeen. The first of the name recorded in Aberdeenshire is "Robertus dictus King" who bequeathed to the prior and convent of St. Andrews land in that shire which was the subject of a convention in 1247 between his brother's daughter, Goda, and the prior and convent." [4]

Early History of the King family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our King research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1247, 1421, 1467, 1600, 1432, 1503, 1500, 1600, 1676, 1621, 1611, 1621, 1592, 1669, 1606, 1681, 1660, 1688, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1648, 1712, 1663, 1712, 1706, 1717, 1717, 1637, 1797 and are included under the topic Early King History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

King 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. King has been spelled many different ways, including King, Kings and others.

Early Notables of the King family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Oliver King (c.1432-1503) was a Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Bath and Wells who restored Bath Abbey after 1500; Robert King LL.D. (1600-1676), an English jurist and Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge; John King (died 1621), Bishop of London in the Church of England from 1611 to 1621; Henry King (1592-1669), an English poet and bishop; Edward King (c. 1606-1681), an English lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Grimsby (1660) and supporter of the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early King Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the King family to Ireland

Some of the King family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 108 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States King 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 Kings to arrive in North America:

King Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Samuel King, who landed at Plymouth in 1620
  • Henery King, who landed in Virginia in 1620 [5]
  • Daniel King, who settled in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Allin and Alice King, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Dorothy and Anne King, who settled in Massachusetts in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
King Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Dorman King, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [5]
  • Christopher King, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [5]
  • Anne King, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [5]
  • Elizabeth King, who landed in Virginia in 1715 [5]
  • Andrew King, who arrived in Virginia in 1721 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
King Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Agness King, aged 62, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812 [5]
  • Sarah King, who sailed from Scotland to South Carolina with her uncle John in 1820
  • Agnes King, who arrived in North Carolina in 1820 [5]
  • Henry King, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1828 [5]
  • Amos N King, who landed in Texas in 1835 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada King migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

King Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Isaac King, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Giles King, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Hooper King, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Ann King, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Cathe King, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
King Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James King, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • Jane King, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • Thomas King, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Patrick King, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
  • Michael King, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia King migration to Australia +

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

King Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George King, British convict who was convicted in Berkshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Miss Elizabeth King, (b. 1787), aged 25, English dress maker who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "Emu" in October 1812, the ship was captured and the passengers put ashore, the convicts were then transported aboard the "Broxburnebury" in January 1812 arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Miss Mary King, (b. 1791), aged 21, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for fraud, transported aboard the "Emu" in October 1812, the ship was captured and the passengers put ashore, she died in 1813 before being rescued [7]
  • Mr. John King, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Robert King, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand King 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:

King Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J W King, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1816
  • P H King, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • J King, who landed in Kororateka, New Zealand in 1836
  • Mr. King, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship " Dublin Packet" arriving in Cloudy Bay, South Island, New Zealand in 1838 [9]
  • John King, aged 31, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name King (post 1700) +

  • Riley "BB" King (1925-2015), famous American blues guitarist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, perhaps best known for his song "The Thrill is Gone"
  • Barbara Lewis King (1930-2020), American bishop of the International New Thought Christian Movement of Churches, founder of Hillside International Chapel and Truth Center
  • Eleanore Cammack "Cammie" King (1934-2010), American child actress, best known for her portrayal of "Bonnie Blue Butler" in Gone with the Wind (1939); later she was the voice of the fawn "Faline" in the Disney film, Bambi (1942)
  • Florence Virginia King (1936-2016), American novelist, essayist and columnist
  • Regina King (b. 1971), American Primetime Emmy Award winning film and television actress and director
  • John W. "Jack" King (1931-2015), American Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Officer for NASA, nicknamed the "Voice of Apollo"
  • Benjamin Earl "Ben E." King (1938-2015), American soul and R&B singer, best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand by Me," inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Drifter
  • Steve King (1958-2014), American Grammy Award-winning sound engineer, best known for his work on The Eminem Show
  • Charles King, American Olympic medalist who won sliver twice for triple jump and long jump at the 1904 games
  • Rufus King (1755-1827), American lawyer, politician, and diplomat, delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress
  • ... (Another 33 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Miss Nancy King (1917-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Russell, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [10]
Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Jerry Joe King (b. 1964), American Private 1st Class from Fort Worth, Texas, USA who died in the crash [11]
  • Mr. Robert M King (b. 1953), American Captain from Clarksville, Tennessee, USA who died in the crash [11]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. John King, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [12]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Maggie  King (1893-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Cornwall
  • Matthew King (d. 1942), British Blacksmith 4th Class aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [15]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Howard L C King (b. 1916), English Signalman serving for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve from Forest Gate, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. William A King (b. 1921), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Reading, Berkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. Ernest H King (b. 1919), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Farnham, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William King, British Telegraphist, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
  • Mr. John William King, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
  • Mr. John Dragt King, British Sergeant, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
  • Mr. John David King, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
  • Mr. Hayward Harcourt Stanley King, British Sergeant QM, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
  • ... (Another 2 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Nigel H King, British Signalman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Arthur E King, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Arthur E King, British Musician, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [18]
  • Mr. William Benjamin James King, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [18]
HMS Royal Oak
  • William Lowe King (d. 1939), British Marine with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [19]
  • Cyril Edward Maugham King (1916-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [19]
  • Frederick William King (d. 1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [19]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Michael King, English Trimmer from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Harry King, American 3rd Class passenger from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. George King, American 3rd Class passenger from W. Frankfort, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [20]
  • Miss Sarah King, English 3rd Class passenger from England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mrs. Martha King, American 2nd Class passenger from Lockport, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [20]
  • ... (Another 1 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Alfred King (d. 1912), aged 18, English Lift Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [21]
  • Mr. Ernest Waldron King (d. 1912), aged 28, Irish Clerk from Clones, Monaghan who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Minia [21]
  • Mr. G. King (d. 1912), aged 20, English Scullion from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [21]
  • Mr. Thomas W. King (d. 1912), aged 43, English Master-at-arms from Portsmouth, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [21]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Gordon Blane King, American Seaman First Class from Tennessee, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Leander Cleaveland King, American Seaman First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Lewis Meyer King, American Fireman First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Robert Nicholas King Jr., American Ensign from New York, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]


Suggested Readings for the name King +

  • 32 History of the King Family in Flanders & America by Robert E. King, Kennard, King, Knight, Hardin, Goodin by Alta Kennard Patterson.

  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Emu
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  11. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  12. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  15. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  16. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  17. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  18. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  19. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  20. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  21. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  22. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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