Keelan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Keelan belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in the now-lost settlement of Kelland Barton in the county of Devon. The surname Keelan 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 Keelan family

The surname Keelan was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Painsford in Asprington, some say before the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D. Professor Seary of Newfoundland suggests that there was also a Kelland Barton in Devon but he has been unable to find it. This may have been a family tradition.

Early History of the Keelan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keelan research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1712, 1635, 1692, 1679, 1681 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Keelan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keelan Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Keelan include Kelland, Kellands, Kellan, Kellen, Keland, Kelan, Kelane, Kellane, Keeland, Kealand, Kellend and many more.

Early Notables of the Keelan family (pre 1700)

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keelan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Keelan migration to Australia +

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

Keelan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Bernard Keelan, aged 38, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Cheapside" [1]
  • B. Keelan, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cheapside" in 1849 [1]

New Zealand Keelan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Keelan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Keelan, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • Ann Keelan, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • Miss Bridget Keelan, (b. 1856), aged 19, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 17th February 1875 [2]
  • Bridget Keelan, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Keelan (post 1700) +

  • Claudia Keelan (b. 1959), American poet, writer, and professor from Anaheim, California
  • Hugh Keelan, English-born, musical director and conductor of Erie Philharmonic from 2000 to 2006
  • Claire Keelan, English actress, known for her role in No Heroics
  • John Joseph Keelan (1888-1946), Canadian politician and lawyer who represented Happyland, Saskatchewan from 1925 to 1929
  • Kevin Damien Keelan MBE (b. 1941), British retired professional football goalkeeper

  1. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CHEAPSIDE 1849. Retrieved from
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook
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