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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Keel family come from? What is the English Keel family crest and coat of arms? When did the Keel family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Keel family history?

The ancestors of the name Keel date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Keel family lived in the settlement of Keele in Staffordshire, or in East Keal or West Keal in Lincolnshire. The surname Keel belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Keel are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Keel include: Keele, Keel, Keal, Keale and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where early records reveal that Robert de Kele was listed there in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. The same rolls list William de Kele in the same shire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keel research. Another 93 words(7 lines of text) covering the years 1671, 1721, 1673 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Keel History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Keel or a variant listed above:

Keel Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Isabell Keel, who landed in Maryland in 1675
  • George Keel settled in Barbados in 1685

Keel Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • David and Peter Keel settled in Philadelphia in 1724
  • Daved Keel, aged 26, landed in Pennsylvania in 1742

Keel Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joel Keel, who arrived in New York in 1834
  • George Keel, who arrived in New York in 1844
  • Barbara Keel, aged 42, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Annie Keel, aged 3, who emigrated to America, in 1894
  • Emily Keel, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1894

Keel Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Frank Keel, aged 38, who emigrated to the United States from London, in 1901
  • George W. Keel, aged 67, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • G. W. Keel, aged 47, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Charles H. Keel, aged 36, who emigrated to the United States, in 1920
  • Doris R. Keel, aged 8, who landed in America from Cobham, England, in 1922


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  • John Alva Keel (1930-2009), American journalist and author
  • Harry Clifford "Howard" Keel (1919-2004), American actor and singer who starred in many film musicals of the 1950s, known for his starring roles in Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Show Boat (1951), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), and Kismet (1955)
  • Larry Keel (b. 1968), American bluegrass-singer and songwriter
  • Stephen Keel (b. 1983), American soccer player
  • Terrence McCauley "Terry" Keel (b. 1958), American founding partner of the Keel & Nassour law firm in Austin, Texas State Representative (1997-2007)
  • Leslie Grace Keel (b. 1974), American production designer
  • James Frederick Keel (1871-1954), English composer of art songs, baritone singer and academic
  • Anna Keel (b. 1940), German visual artist
  • Carl Eugen Keel (1885-1961), Swiss visual artist Expressionism
  • Daniel Keel (b. 1930), Swiss publisher

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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Keel Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keel Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 March 2014 at 13:47.

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