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Kempen Coat of Arms / Kempen Family Crest

Kempen Coat of Arms / Kempen Family Crest

The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. This surname of KEMPEN was an occupational name for a champion at jousting or wrestling, and the name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form CAMPUS. The name has spread widely throughout Europe and spellings of the name include KEMPE, KAMPF, KOMPF, KEMPNER and KEMPERS. The earliest of the name mentioned includes one Eadulf Cempa who was documented in the year 902 in Wales. Edmund Kemp, was recorded in the year 1100 in the County of Norfolk. Edward Kempe was documented in the year 1273, and Thomas Kemp of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Kemp was burgess of Edinburgh in 1423. Donald Kemp was the burgess of Dingwell in 1613. A notable member of the name was John Kemp (1380-1454) the English prelate born in Olantigh, near Ashford in Kent. He became fellow of Merton College, Oxford, bishop of Rochester (1419) and of Chichester and London (1421), chancellor and archbishop of York in 1426, and archbishop of Canterbury in 1452. The word Heraldry is derived from the German HEER, (a host, an army) and HELD, (champion): the term BLASON, by which the science is denoted in French, English, Italian and German, has most probably its origin in the German word 'BLAZEN' (to blow the horn). Whenever a new knight appeared at a Tournament, the herald sounded the trumpet, and as competitors attended with closed vizors, it was his duty to explain the bearing of the shield or coat-armour belonging to each. Thus, the knowledge of the various devices and symbols was called 'Heraldry'. The Germans transmitted the word to the French, and it reached England after the Norman Conquest of 1066.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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