This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the more familiar locational surname "Kimberley". There are a number of variants of the name, ranging from "Kimbrey", "Kimbl(e)y", and "Kimbury" to "Kembr(e)y" and "Kembley". The placename is found in the counties of Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire, and derives from different Olde English pre 7th Century personal names with "leah", a wood or glade, clearing in a wood. "Kimberley" in Warwickshire means "wood of Cynebald", from "cyne", royal, and "beald", bold, brave, that in Nottinghamshire is "wood of Cynemaer", from "cyne", royal and "maer", fame, while "Kimberley" in Norfolk is from "Cyneburh", "royal fortress". One Elizabeth Kymbley married William Fardon in Fillongley, Warwickshire, in 1570, and John Kimbrey married Sarah Brown on the 18th July 1824 at Isleworth, West London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Chineburlai, which was dated 1161, in the "Norfolk Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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