Select Lambert Surname Genealogy

The Lambert name has been widespread in Europe and goes back at least to the 5th century.   Because of its antiquity, the root of Lambert is uncertain.  Some have the name derived from the name Landbehrt, possibly meaning “bright land.”  

St. Lambert
, the Bishop of Maastricht in the Low Countries in the 7th century, was highly venerated and a source of the name’s popularity.  In the next four centuries the name could be found as widely spread as Italy, where Lambert the Bishop of Ostia was elected Pope, to Louvain in present-day Belgium, and to Poland where a Lambert was king in the early 11th century.  The Lambert name came to England after the Norman invasion in 1066

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Select Lambert Ancestry

Lambert as a surname in Europe is mainly found in Belgium and France.  The following are the approximate numbers there today:
  • 20,000 in Belgium
  • and 60,000 in France.
In Belgium the main numbers have been in French-speaking Wallonia; in France in the Loire area and in eastern France.  The most well-known Lambert has probably been the 18th century physicist and astronomer Johann Heinrich Lambert from the eastern province of Alsace who is associated today with Lambert's Law.
England.  There were early reports of the Lambert name in southern England, in particular in Hampshire.  Richard Lambert appeared in the 1148 pipe rolls of Hampshire.  Later Lamberts in Hampshire were:
  • Sir Nicholas Lambert, Lord Mayor of London in 1537, came from a family of wool merchants in Maiden Bradley.  William Lambert, the MP for Old Sarum around this time, was probably from the same family.
  • another Lambert family in Hampshire was based at Laverstoke. 
  • William Lambert of Southampton was the father of Oliver Lambert, a soldier of fortune who became Governor of Connacht in Ireland in 1601.
  • while Christopher Lambert became the MP for Winchester in 1593, but only, it appears, because his sister Jane was the mistress of the Marquess of Winchester.
Sir John Lambert, born in France, had come to London as a merchant in the 1690's and was an important financier to the English Government in the early 1700's.  He was created a baronet in 1711.
Eastern England  However, the Lambert name has been found more frequently along the east coast of England, with the main concentrations being in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and East Anglia.  That pattern would suggest a Viking or more probably a Saxon origin for Lamberts.  The earliest sighting was probably Lambert as the prior of Kyme in Yorkshire around the year 1185.

One line began at Skipton in the West Riding of Yorkshire.  William de Lambarte was recorded as being born there in 1285.  John Lambert of this line came into possession of Calton Hall in Kirkby Malham at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries.   Calton Hall was the home of John Lambert, Cromwell's famous general during the Civil War.  Lambert's rise was spectacular.  So was his fall at the time of the Restoration. 

"In 1659, when General George Monck marched south to restore Parliament, Lambert marched north in an attempt to negotiate or stop him by force but was abandoned by many of his soldiers.  Lambert was then tried for treason and banished to the island of Guernsey.  He was later imprisoned on Drake’s Island in Plymouth Sound where he died in 1683."

Lamberts have been a presence at Manningham near Bradford since the early 1600's.  The name has subsequently spread across the county.  It has also been a fairly common name in Lincolnshire and Suffolk. From the Lamberts of Kirton in Lincolnshire came Richard Lambert, the Sheriff of London in 1568.  One family line has been traced back to Philip and Martha Lambert in 1690 at Hasketon near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Ireland.   There was an old Catholic Lambert family in Wexford, first recorded in the 14th century, which was Norman in origin and may have dated back to the time of Strongbow.  In the 18th century they were landowners at Carnagh.  

Oliver Lambert came to Ireland with the Earl of Essex's army in 1599.  His successors were created Earls of Cavan.  Another line, originating from Calton in Yorkshire, came to the parish of Athenry in Galway.  John Lambert, an officer in Cromwell's army, made his home at Creg Clare in 1669.  There were subsequent Lambert homes at Castle Lambert and Castle Ellen.  The family story was recounted in Finbarr O'Regan's 1999 book The Lamberts of Athenry.

America.  Lambert arrivals in America by ship were almost half from England, but also included Lamberts from Ireland, Germany and France.

Thomas Lambert from Dorset came to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1631 and died at Barnstable on Cape Cod in 1663.  He was possibly the earliest Lambert immigrant into America and probably the one with most descendants.

Some Lamberts in Massachusetts migrated via Connecticut to Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the 1740's. Three brothers settled near Coryell's Ferry in Bucks county, Pennsylvania.  The oldest Thomas, however, made his home in Hunterdon county, New Jersey.  From his line came John Lambert, the US Senator for New Jersey from 1809 to 1815.  A later John Lambert became President of the American Steel and Wire Company.  The Lambert coal mine in Fayette county was named after him.

Matthias Lambert (originally Lambard) came from the Rhine Palatine in Germany and was one of the many Palatines fleeing religious persecution at home.  Matthias arrived in Philadelphia on the Sally in 1733 and first made his home in York county, Pennsylvania.  Later Lamberts of this family moved to Maryland and Virginia. John Michael Lambert, who arrived in 1764, settled in Bucks county, Pennsylvania.

Canada.  French Lamberts first came to Canada, or more specifically to what was then New France and is now Quebec.   Eustache Lambert arrived there with his family from Boulogne in the 1640's.   Aubin Lambert from the Perche region came about twenty years later.  The Lambert Dumont family were seigneurs of Mille-Iles from about 1743 and they subsequently owned large tracts of forest and farmland in the Saint Eustache region of Quebec north of Montreal.

Patrick Lambert and his family departed Wexford in Ireland, first for Newfoundland and then for Quebec City in 1816.  Thomas and Margaret Lambert, also from Wexford, came there around 1828.  Some of their descendants later moved to the Ottawa area.

A Lambert family were keepers of the Chantry Island lighthouse on Lake Huron for almost fifty years, from 1858 to 1907.

New Zealand.  There were Lamberts who came to New Zealand from England, Scotland and Ireland:
  • Albert Lambert who arrived with his family from Essex in 1853 and settled in the Porangahau region. 
  • John Lambert who came with his family from the Scottish borders area in the 1860's.  They settled in the Wanganui area.  John unfortunately died in a riding accident in 1870 at the age of just 36. 
  • while William Lambert and his family came from Galway in Ireland in 1875.  They settled in Wairoa. William was an Anglican clergyman there, his son Thomas a medical practitioner and later a local reporter and writer.          
Select Lambert Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Lambert Names

Saint Lambert was Bishop of Maastricht from 670 to 700 and much revered after his death.  
John Lambert
was Cromwell’s leading general during the English Civil War.  He also helped establish the Protectorate in the years that followed.  

Sir John Lambert was a French-born merchant in London who was instrumental in financing the British government in the early 1700’s.  
John W. Lambert
was an American automotive pioneer, inventor, and manufacturer in the early 1900’s

Select Lamberts Today
  • 30,000 in the UK (most numerous in Yorkshire)
  • 36,000 in America (most numerous in Florida) 
  • 24,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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