Keeler History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Keeler. The Keeler family lived in the lands of (Easter and Wester) Keilor in the adjoining parishes of Newtyle and Kettins in Angus. The names are still common in the district. [1]

Early Origins of the Keeler family

The surname Keeler was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland. "Stephen de Cellar [was] burgess of Roxburgh, 1262. Duncan de Cellario, burgess of Peril 1292 is doubtless Dunkan del Celer, burgess of Perth, who rendered homage in 1296." [1]

The MacKellar variant with its various spellings is in "Gaelic Mac Ealair, 'son of Ealair,' the Gaelic form of Latin Hilarius, the name of the bishop of Poitiers, commemorated in the Felire of Oengus at 13 January. " [1]

Early History of the Keeler family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keeler research. Another 517 words (37 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1476, 1383, 1436, 1470, 1476, 1488, 1550, 1493, 1496, 1500, 1525, 1528, 1518, 1538, 1550, 1553, 1594, 1688, 1685, 1679, 1345, 1372, 1383, 1398, 1704, 1704, 1834, 1834, 1876, 1885, 1880 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Keeler History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keeler Spelling Variations

The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Keeler has appeared as Keller, Kellar, Keeler, Keilor, Keiler, Keillor, Keiller, Kelour, MacKeller and many more.

Early Notables of the Keeler family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Godfrey Keller (d. 1704), musical theorist and harpsichord player, was born in Germany, but settled in London towards the end of the seventeenth century as professor and composer. He died in November 1704, leaving a widow and two sons. To the elder, Godfrey, he bequeathed his ‘best fiddle’ and spinet. [2] Mary MacKellar (1834-1890), highland poetess, daughter of Allan Cameron, baker at Fort William, was born on 1 Oct. 1834. She married early John Mackellar, captain and joint-owner of a coasting vessel, with...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keeler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keeler Ranking

In the United States, the name Keeler is the 3,022nd most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Keeler family to Ireland

Some of the Keeler family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Keeler migration to the United States +

As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Keeler Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ralph Keeler, who landed in Hartford, Connecticut in 1637 [4]
Keeler Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Elbreat Keeler, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1728 [4]
  • Jonas Keeler, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1728 [4]
  • Valentine Keeler, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1740 [4]
  • Mathias Keeler, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1755 [4]
  • Frederick Keeler, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1763 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Keeler Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Keeler, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • E H Keeler, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • C Keeler, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • W D Keeler, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • Leon Keeler, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Keeler migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Keeler Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Keeler James U.E. (b. 1758) born in Lenox, Massachusetts, USA from Lenox, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Augusta, Ontario c. 1797 [5]
Keeler Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Australia Keeler migration to Australia +

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

Keeler Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Keeler, British Convict who was convicted in Norwich, Norfolk, England for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Dudbrook" on 17th November 1852, arriving in Western Australia [6]

New Zealand Keeler 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:

Keeler Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Frederick Keeler, (b. 1855), aged 24, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Stad Haarlem" arriving in Lyttleton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1879 [7]
  • Mr. Richard Keeler, (b. 1855), aged 24, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Stad Haarlem" arriving in Lyttleton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1879 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Keeler (post 1700) +

  • Robert Keeler, American reporter who won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting
  • James Edward Keeler (1857-1900), American astronomer who received the Henry Draper Medal in 1899
  • William Henry "Wee Willie" Keeler (1872-1923), American right fielder in professional baseball
  • William Henry Keeler (b. 1931), American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Leonarde Keeler (1903-1949), American co-inventor of the polygraph
  • Christine Keeler (1942-2017), English model who discredited the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan in 1963, in what is known as the Profumo Affair
  • Ruby Keeler (1910-1993), Canadian actress, singer, and dancer most famous for her on-screen coupling with Dick Powell

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Murth Burt Keeler, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [8]


Suggested Readings for the name Keeler +

  • Keeler Family by Wesley B. Keeler.
  • Ralph Keeler of Norfolk, Ct by Wesley B. Keeler.

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 23rd July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dudbrook
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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