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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Keele family come from? What is the English Keele family crest and coat of arms? When did the Keele family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Keele family history?

The history of the Keele family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in Keele, a village and civil parish in northern Staffordshire, or in East Keal or West Keal in Lincolnshire. The surname Keele belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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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 Keele include Keele, Keel, Keal, Keale and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where early records reveal that Robert de Kele was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls list William de Kele in the same shire. [1] As far as the origin of the place name Keele is concerned, we must look to the village and parish in Staffordshire where the name was derived from the Old English words "cy" + "hyll," and literally meant "hill where cows graze." The first listing of the place name was found in 1169 when is was listed as Kiel. [2] Keele Hall is a 19th-century mansion house at Keele, Staffordshire and the eponym of Keele University, officially known as the University of Keele, a public research university near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keele research. Another 93 words(7 lines of text) covering the years 1562, 1671, 1721, 1673 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Keele History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 75 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keele Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Keele or a variant listed above:

Keele Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Edward Keele, aged 14, landed in New England in 1635
  • Edward Keele settled in New England in 1635
  • Elizabeth Keele, who arrived in Maryland in 1657
  • Alice Keele, who arrived in Maryland in 1672
  • John Keele, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682


Keele Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Henry Keele settled in Portsmouth Virginia in 1820

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  • Alan Frank Keele (b. 1942), American professor of German at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah
  • William Conroy Keele, Canadian farmer in Toronto, eponym of Keele Street which stretches 47km from downtown Toronto the the Holland Marsh


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  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. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Keele Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keele Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 22 June 2015 at 15:59.

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