Keach History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the family name Keach date back to the Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name given to a person who because of their physical characteristics and physical abilities was referred to as kedge a Old English word that described someone who was brisk or active. [1]

Although one notes source has a different understanding of the origin on the name. In this case, Keach is from the "Middle English [word] keech ‘a lump of congealed fat; the fat of a slaughtered animal rolled up into a lump’, used in the 16th century for a butcher: ‘Did not goodwife Keech the Butchers wife come in then?’ (Henry IV); ‘I wonder, That such a Keech can with his very bulke Take vp the Rayes o’ th’ beneficiall Sun, And keepe it from the Earth’ (Henry VIII), where the reference is to Cardinal Wolsey, a butcher’s son. " [2]

Early Origins of the Keach family

The surname Keach was first found in Cambridgeshire and Surrey where Reginald and Hugo Keche were listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1206 and 1219. [2]

Years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included Peter Kech, Norfolk; and Adam Kyg, Buckinghamshire. [1]

In Somerset, early rolls there show John Keche holding lands 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3]

In Norfolk, John Keche, was rector of Erpingham in 1430 and "a brass plate in the ancient church of St. Helen's, Norwich, reads: 'Hie jacet corpus Dni. Edmundi Keche, presbyteri' " [4]

Early History of the Keach family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keach research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1620, 1621, 1673, 1686, 1640, 1704 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Keach History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keach Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Keach include Ketch, Keech, Keach, Kedge and others.

Early Notables of the Keach family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Hugo Ketch of Cheshire; John (Jack) Ketch (died 1686), one of King Charles II's executioners, who became quite infamous for the terrible suffering of his victims; his name has lived on as slang for the gallows or even for death itself. Benjamin Keach (1640-1704)...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keach family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Margaret and Susan Ketch, who settled in New England in 1665 with their husbands; as well as John Ketch, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1741.


Contemporary Notables of the name Keach (post 1700) +

  • Stacy Keach (b. 1941), American actor
  • James Keach (b. 1947), American actor, director, and screenwriter
  • William E. Keach, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brooklyn, 1914 [5]
  • Sherman L. Keach, American Republican politician, Chair of Lawrence County Republican Party, 1905 [5]
  • Edwin H. Keach, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Killingly [5]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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