The surname of Kemp is an English, Scottish and German name. The Middle English term of ‘kempe’ and ‘cempa’ referred to a warrior and a champion. It also implies a champion at jousting or wrestling. The one variation in spelling for Kemp is Kempe. In England the Kemp families originated in Kent county. From there they spread to Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Sussex, Hampshire, Yorkshire, Lanarkshire and the city of London. In Scotland there are several regions with many Kemp families. Most are in Aberdeenshire, Ross and Cromarty, Banffshire, Moray, Midlothian, Lanarkshire, Perthshire and Stirlingshire. Within the United States the Kemp surname for families originated in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, California, Ohio, Michigan and Florida. Famous: David Kemp (English footballer), Hal Kemp (bandleader, music composer and musician), Jack Kemp (professional football player and Washington, D.C. politician), Matt Kemp (professional baseball player), Shawn Kemp (professional basketball player), Willie Kemp (Scottish singer) and Kristen Kemp (television actress).