Show ContentsKeate History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Keate family

The surname Keate was first found in Norfolk, where the name is generally thought to have been derived from a baptismal name as "the son of Kett, but whether Kett represents a nick, of Catherine, or, like Kit, of Christopher, I cannot say." [1]

The first record of the name was Ailnod Kete who was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1166. A few years later, Richard Kete was recorded in Suffolk in 1221 and in Durham, Robert Chet was listed at Boldun in 1183. Richard Kyte was recorded in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243. [2]

William Ket was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of Norfolk in 1273. [1] [2] Ralph atte Kete was registered in Kent in 1292, Peter le Kyte was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and John Kette was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1327. [2]

The famed poet John Keats (1795-1821), was "born in London, at the sign of the Swan and Hoop, 24 The Pavement, Moorfields. These premises were occupied as a livery stable by one John Jennings, into whose service the father of the poet, Thomas Keats, had entered as a lad. Families of the name of Keats are found settled in Devonshire both north and south, and of the origin of Thomas Keats nothing is known except that he came either from that county or from Cornwall." [3]

Early History of the Keate family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keate research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1476, 1487, 1510, 1600, 1633, 1661, 1666, 1696, 1700, 1705, 1744, 1757, 1808, 1812 and 1834 are included under the topic Early Keate History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keate Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Keate include Keate, Keete, Keyte, Keite, Keat, Keet, Keats and many more.

Early Notables of the Keate family

Distinguished members of the family include

United States Keate migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Keate or a variant listed above:

Keate Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Keate, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [4]
  • Thomas Keate, who settled in Maryland in 1774
Keate Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Carter Keate, who settled in Philadelphia in 1815

Australia Keate migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Keate Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Keate, (b. 1824), aged 18, English labourer who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for embezzlement, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 4th October 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]

West Indies Keate migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Keate Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Edmund Keate, who arrived in Jamaica in 1736

Contemporary Notables of the name Keate (post 1700) +

  • John Keate (1773-1852), English schoolmaster, he was headmaster of Eton College from 1809-1834, son of William Keate, brother of Robert Keate [q. v.], and nephew of Thomas Keate [q. v.], born at Wells in 1773 [7]
  • George Keate (1729-1797), English poet and writer from Isleworth, Middlesex, son and heir of George Keate of Isleworth, Middlesex, who married Rachel Kawolski, daughter of Count Christian Kawolski, was great-grandson of Sir George Hungerford, by Lady Frances Ducie [7]
  • Sir William Keate (1700-1757), 4th Baronet
  • Robert William Keate (1777-1857), British surgeon, and Serjeant-Surgeon to King William IV and Queen Victoria, Lieutenant Governor of Grenada from 1853-1857 [7]
  • Robert William Keate (1814-1873), British colonial governor, Commissioner of the Seychelles (1850 to 1852), Governor of Trinidad (1857 to 1864, and of Governror of the Gold Coast (1873)

  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. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th August 2021). Retrieved from
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 26 October 2020 on Facebook