Kayes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Kayes name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived near a dock, and may have been employed there having derived from the Old French word kay, which became kaye, keye, and keay in Old English. These were all words for docks, or quays. The original bearers of the name undoubtedly lived near some docks, and could easily have been workers there. There is also the possibility that the name is derived from the Latin personal name Caius, a name that dates from the Roman occupation of Britain. There is a record of a Britius filius Kay in 1199, in Northants; filius means "son of." There is a third possibility; in the north of England ka was a word for jackdaw (derived from the Old Scandinavian), and was often applied as a nickname; some nicknames became surnames and this could be one of them. However, the majority of examples of this name found in England are of the local type. This makes this name a polygenetic name, which means that it arose spontaneously at different times and places and meant different things.
Early Origins of the Kayes family
The surname Kayes was 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.
Early History of the Kayes family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kayes research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kayes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kayes Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Kayes has undergone many spelling variations, including Keyes, Key, Keys, Keye, Keyse and others.
Early Notables of the Kayes family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Kayes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kayes family to Ireland
Some of the Kayes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 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 Kayes family
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Kayes were among those contributors: John Key settled in Barbados in 1634; Adam Key settled in Virginia in 1639; Peter Key settled in Virginia in 1653; Thomas and Sarah Key settled in Virginia in 1649.
Contemporary Notables of the name Kayes (post 1700) +
- Samuel J. Kayes, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Bremen, Indiana, 1880-82 
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The Kayes 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: In Domino confido
Motto Translation: I trust in the Lord.