Origins Available: English, Scottish
England and Scotland, it comes from the Old Norse "ká," which meant "jackdaw." It also came from the Breton and Old Welsh word "Cai," and the Cornish word "Key," both of which meant "wharf." And, in some instances, this surname is no doubt derived from the Old English "Coeg," which meant "key."
Early Origins of the Kays family
Yorkshire, but the surname was also found in Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire as far back as the 13th century. One of the first records in Scotland was the Kae family of Croslats who were and "old family" of West Lothian. The Keay spelling was quite popular in Perthshire. Philip Qua was listed in Aberdeen in 1317 and Donald Ka was listed there too in 1399. Thomas Kaa was on an inquest taken at Berwick-on-Tweed in 1370. Patrick Ka was burgess of Linkithgow until his death in 1445. CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) The "Mac" prefix seems is difficult to clarify. Some Mackay (Macaoid) families may have shortened their name.
Early History of the Kays family
Another 234 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1246, 1372, 1500, and 1704 are included under the topic Early Kays History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kays Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Kay, Kaye and others.
Early Notables of the Kays family (pre 1700)
Another 22 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kays Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kays family to Ireland
Some of the Kays family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 242 words (17 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 Kays family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Kays Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Kays Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Kays (post 1700)
The Kays 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: Kynd Kynn Knawne Kepe
Motto Translation: Keep your own kin-kind.
Kays Family Crest Products