Kingdon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The illustrious surname Kingdon finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Kingdon is a local type of surname and the Kingdon family lived in the county of Cornwall, at Kingdon manor. A number of places of this name exist in various counties of England. It translates as the house of the king.
Early Origins of the Kingdon family
The surname Kingdon was first found in the county of Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times.
Early History of the Kingdon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kingdon research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 146 and 1462 are included under the topic Early Kingdon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kingdon 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 Kindon, Kingdon, Kingdom and others.
Early Notables of the Kingdon family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Kingdon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kingdon family to Ireland
Some of the Kingdon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kingdon migration to the United States +
An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Kingdon:
Kingdon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- John Kingdon, who settled in Virginia in 1774
Kingdon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Henry Kingdon, who landed in New York in 1841 
Kingdon Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Mr. Walter Kingdon, (b. 1885), aged 20, Cornish carpenter, from St Blazey, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Caronia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 10th April 1905 en route to Greenwood, British Columbia, USA 
Kingdon migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Kingdon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mr. Thomas Kingdon, English convict who was convicted in Devon, England for 14 years , transported aboard the "Duke of Portland" in January 1807, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 
- Andrew Kingdon, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia 
- Mr. Thomas Kingdon, English convict who was convicted in Dartmouth (Clifton-Dartmouth-Hardness), England for 10 years, transported aboard the "David Clarke" on 3rd June 1841, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) 
Kingdon 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:
Kingdon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Miss Kingdon, (b. 1865), aged Infant, Cornish settler departing on 30th September 1865 aboard the ship "Mermaid" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 1st January 1886 
- Mr. Arthur Kingdon, (b. 1863), aged 2, Cornish settler departing on 30th September 1865 aboard the ship "Mermaid" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 1st January 1886 
- Miss Evelina Kingdon, (b. 1854), aged 11, Cornish settler departing on 30th September 1865 aboard the ship "Mermaid" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 1st January 1886 
- Mr. John Kingdon, (b. 1846), aged 19, Cornish farm labourer departing on 30th September 1865 aboard the ship "Mermaid" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 1st January 1886 
- Mr. Josiah Kingdon, (b. 1840), aged 25, Cornish farm labourer departing on 30th September 1865 aboard the ship "Mermaid" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 1st January 1886 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Kingdon (post 1700) +
- Robert M. "Bob" Kingdon (1927-2010), American historian of the Protestant Reformation
- Westcott William "Wes" Kingdon (1900-1975), American Major League Baseball infielder who played for the Washington Senators in 1932
- Mark E. Kingdon, American hedge fund manager, founder and president of the Kingdon Capital Management
- Edith May Kingdon (1864-1921), née Ellis, English-born, American actress, known for her roles in Once a Lady (1931), When Knights Were Bold (1929) and Fugitive Road (1934), wife of George Jay Gould I
- Dorothy Kingdon (1894-1939), American actress of the '20s
- The Rt Revd Hollingworth Tully Kingdon DD, English Anglican bishop, Bishop of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (1892-1907)
- William Issacher Garfield "Billy" Kingdon (1907-1977), English footballer and manager who played from 1924 to 1938, and coached from 1938 to 1948
- Francesca Kingdon, contemporary British actress
- Jonathan Kingdon (b. 1935), Tanzanian zoologist, science author, artist and research associate at the University of Oxford
- Guy Kingdon Natusch MNZM DSC (1921-2020), New Zealand architect who grew up in Hawke's Bay where he practised until his retirement in 1997
Related Stories +
The Kingdon 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: Regis donum gratum bonum
Motto Translation: A king's gift is pleasant and good.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duke-of-portland
- ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-clarke
- ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf