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

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

The ancestors of the name Keithley date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Keithley family lived in the settlemant of Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Keithley 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 Keithley 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 Keithley include: Keightley, Keighley, Keitley, Keightly and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keithley research. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1186, 1650, 1719, 1686, 1692, 1789 and 1872 are included under the topic Early Keithley 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 Keithley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Keithley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 113 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included 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 Keithley or a variant listed above:

Keithley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Herbert R. Keithley, aged 33, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Keithley Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Wm. Keithley, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1918
  • Amy Keithley, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1919

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  • Gary Keithley (b. 1951), retired professional American NFL football quarterback
  • Joseph P. Keithley, American founder and CEO of Keithley Instruments, Ohio, a measurement and instrument company (1946)
  • June Keithley -Castro (1947-2013), Filipina actress and broadcast journalist


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  1. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Keithley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keithley 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 27 November 2013 at 15:41.

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