This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. The surname may derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cemban", to comb, and would have been an occupational name for a comber of wood or flax. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The other possible derivation is from a metronymic, formed from the Olde English female personal name "Cyneburh", composed of the elements "cyne", royal, with "burh", fortress, stronghold. This name was borne by a daughter of the 7th Century King Penda of Mercia, who, in spite of her father's staunch opposition to Christianity, was converted and founded an abbey, serving as its head. She was venerated as a saint in the Middle Ages, and children were named after her. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century (see below) and can also be found as Kember and Kimbrough. On January 31st 1581, Edward Kimber was christened in London. Isaac Kimber was a general baptist minister who conducted "The Morning Chronicle" (1728 - 1732), and also edited Ainsworth's "Latin Dictionary" (1751), and published the "Life of Oliver Cromwell" (1724). The Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with three black Cornish choughs, beaks and legs red and on a black chief three silver mullets, the Crest being a bull's head affrontee proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger le Kembar, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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