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

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

The name Kish comes from one of the family having worked as a maker of leather armor for the knight's legs. In some cases the name was used as a trade name for a shoemaker. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old French word cuisse, a type of leather armor.

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Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Kish have been found, including: Kiss, Kish, Kyshe, Kysh, Kysse, Cuss, Cusse, Cush and others.

First found in Leicestershire, where they held a family seat from early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kish research. Another 133 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1327, 1455, 1545, 1576 and 1765 are included under the topic Early Kish History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 49 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Kish, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Kish Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Mathias Kish, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733

Kish Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • C H, Kish Jr., who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • Joseph Kish (1899-1969), American Academy Award winning set decorator
  • Daniel Kish (b. 1966), American expert in human echolocation
  • Professor George Kish (1914-1989), American authority in geography and the history of cartography
  • László Bela Kish (b. 1955), Hungarian-born, American physicist and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University
  • Larry Kish (b. 1941), Canadian former professional hockey head coach of the NHL Hartford Whalers for 49 games


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Kish Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kish 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 13 November 2012 at 10:37.

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