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Keiths History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The ancient Pictish-Scottish family that first used the name Keiths lived in the lands of Keith in the county of East Lothian. Traditionally the Keiths were descended from Robert, an early Chieftain of the Catti tribe, and possibly one of the earliest settlers in Scotland. Robert joined King Malcolm II at the battle of Panbridge, in 1006, against Camus, leader of the Danes. Robert slew Camus for which King Malcolm granted Robert the hereditary title of Marshall of Scotland, with a barony in Lothian and the island of Inskeith in the gulf of Edinburgh. It is for this title that the Keiths are sometimes known as the Marshalls, and many Clansmen adopted that name.


Early Origins of the Keiths family


The surname Keiths was first found in Haddingtonshire where Harvey Keith, successor of the aforementioned Robert inherited the office of Marshal late in the 13th century, but was imprisoned by the English until 1304. On his release he became one of four Deputy Wardens of Scotland. He joined the cause of King Robert the Bruce, and for their assistance to the Scottish crown, the Clan was granted the royal forest of Kintore. Harvey Keith commanded the Scots Cavalry at Bannockburn and was probably more instrumental in the annihilation of the English army than any other single person. He was again granted lands for his deeds, this time at the expense of the Clan Cumming (Comyn), whose estates at Buchan were acquired by the Keith Clan.

His great grandson, Sir William Keith, founded the tower of Dunottar Castle. Through marriage with an heiress of the Cheynes of Axkergill, the Keiths acquired lands in Caithrless, and began a never-ending succession of feuds with their new neighbors, the Gunns and others.


Early History of the Keiths family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keiths research.
Another 359 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1438, 1464, 1475, 1540, 1588, 1581, 1553, 1623, 1585, 1635, 1610, 1670, 1714, 1718, 1699, 1758, 1694, 1664, 1712, 1638, 1716 and are included under the topic Early Keiths History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keiths Spelling Variations


The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Keiths has been spelled Keith, Keath, Ceiteach (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Keiths family (pre 1700)


Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William Keith (d. 1475), 1st Earl Marischal of Scotland; Agnes Keith, Countess of Moray (c.1540-1588), a Scottish noblewoman; William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal (d. 1581), a Scottish nobleman and politician; George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal (c.1553-1623), a Scottish nobleman; William Keith, 6th Earl...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keiths Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keiths family to Ireland


Some of the Keiths family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keiths family to the New World and Oceana


This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Keiths: James Keith settled in Barbados with his wife and daughter in 1678; Henry Keith settled in Virginia in 1679; George Keith settled in Philadelphia in 1682.

The Keiths Motto


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Veritas vincit
Motto Translation: Truth Conquers.


Keiths Family Crest Products



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