Recorded as Kemball and Kemble, this is an English surname. It is locational from the village of Kemble near Circencester in the West Country. Locational surnames were names that were given either to the local lord of the manor and his descendants, or more usually to former inhabitants of the place who left proably to seek work, and were best identifieed by their new neighbours, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best erratic and local accents very thick, often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case the name of the place and hence the later surname derives from the Ancient British word Camulos, the name of a pagan god. The village is first recorded as Kemele in the year 686 a.d. making it one of the earliest of all known recordings to survive. The surname is seemingly a thousand years later, with early examples of recordings including John Kemball who married Jane Jones at St James Camberwell, in the city of London in 1657, whilst James Kemble and Judith Davies were married at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1736.
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