Show ContentsKeaton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Keaton comes from when the family resided in either of the settlements called Ketton in Durham or Rutland, or in the place called Keaton in Ermington, in Devon. 1 The surname Keaton belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Keaton family

The surname Keaton was first found in Leicestershire. One of the first records of the family was Robert of Ketton (Latin: Robertus Cetenensis) (c. 1110-1160), an English medieval theologian, astronomer, translator and Arabist. His is thought to have been from village in Rutland, near Stamford, Lincolnshire. Today Ketton is a village and civil parish in Rutland in the East Midlands but dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was known as Chetone. 2 It is thought that the village name originated from "an old river name, possibly a derivation of the Celtic "ced" meaning "wood" + the Old English word "ea" meaning "river." 3

The second record of the family was Robert de Keton who was listed in the Calendar of Inquisitiones post mortem from Nottinghamshire in 1362. 4 The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Johannes de Keton; and Henry de Ketton. Thomas Keton was rector of Langale and Kirksted, Norfolk in 1506. 5

Early History of the Keaton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keaton research. Another 248 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1134, 1143, 1362, 1379, 1397, 1399, 1423, 1500, 1506 and 1805 are included under the topic Early Keaton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keaton 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 Keaton include Keaton, Keeton, Ketton, Keton, Ketyn, Keetyn and many more.

Early Notables of the Keaton family

Notables of the family at this time include Robert of Ketton, a medieval theologian, who traveled to France, the Byzantine Empire, and the Crusader States in Palestine with fellow scholar Herman of Carinthia, in 1134. In...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keaton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keaton Ranking

In the United States, the name Keaton is the 2,961st most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. 6

United States Keaton migration to the United States +

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:

  • Eula Jones Keaton, aged 21, settler who arrived in New York aboard the ship "Majestuc" 7
Keaton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Keaton, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 8
  • William Keaton, who sailed to Philadelphia in 1775
  • Samuel Keaton, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1799
Keaton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Keaton, aged 41, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1814 8
  • Jane Keaton, aged 28, Irish settler who arrived in New York aboard the ship "Julia" in 1832 7
  • John Keaton, aged 35, Irish settler who arrived in New York aboard the ship "Admeral Monson" in 1833 7
  • Thos Keaton, aged 36, British settler who arrived in New York aboard the ship "Harmony" in 1833 7
  • Alice Keaton, aged 23, Irish settler who arrived in New York aboard the ship "Pactolas" in 1836 7
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Keaton Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Charles Keaton, aged 53, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Mrs. Edgar Keaton, aged 27, who immigrated to America, in 1907
  • Ben. C. Keaton, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1912
  • James Keaton, aged 60, who settled in America, in 1923
  • Thomas Keaton, aged 49, who immigrated to the United States, in 1923
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Keaton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Keaton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Michael Keaton, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Keaton migration to Australia +

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

Keaton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Keaton, English seaman who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 8th April 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 9
  • Mr. George Keaton who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 10

Contemporary Notables of the name Keaton (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton (1895-1966), American comic actor and filmmaker, best known for his silent films, nicknamed "The Great Stone Face," ranked the 21st-greatest male star by the American Film Institute in 1999
  • Michael John Keaton (b. 1951), born Michael John Douglas, American multiple award winning actor known for his leading roles in Beetlejuice, Batman and Batman Returns and many more
  • Diane Keaton (b. 1946), born Diane Hall, American multiple award winning film actress, director, producer, and screenwriter, probably best known for her role in Annie Hall for which she received 7 awards
  • Danielle Wiener Keaton, American actress, sister of Josh Keaton
  • Curtis Isaiah Keaton (b. 1976), former American NFL football running back
  • Teddy Keaton, American football coach
  • Myra Keaton (1877-1955), born Myra Edith Cutler, an American vaudeville performer and film actress mother of Buster Keaton
  • Joe Keaton (1867-1946), American vaudeville performer and silent film actor, father of Buster Keaton
  • Joshua "Josh" Keaton (b. 1979), born Joshua Luis Wiener, an American actor, voice actor, singer and music producer
  • Camille Keaton (b. 1947), American actress, best known for her role in the 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. Ellis Island Search retrieved 21st October 2021. Retrieved from
  8. 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)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook