Family History and Genealogy Resources by Surname
Kemp Surname Origin
In old English, a soldier, one who engaged in single combat. The name Kemp is derived from the Saxon word to kemp, or combat, which in Norfolk is retained to this day; a foot-ball match being called a camping or kemping; and thus in Saxon a Kemper signifies a combatant, a champion, a man-at-arms. In some parts of Scotland the striving of reapers in the harvest-field is still called kemping.
Source: An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857.
Kemp Surname Meaning and Family Facts
There is more to Kemp family history than the origin of your surname:
A Kemp Family History Thought:
'If you would not be forgotten,
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy of reading,
Or do things worthy of writing.' --Benjamin Franklin, May 1738