Keeline History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture once found in Britain is the soil from which the many generations of the Keeline family have grown. The name Keeline was given to a member of the family who was a person who fished codfish and was accordingly named after the fish. The surname Keeline is derived from the Old English word keling, which means young codfish. [1] [2]

Occasionally, the name is derived from residence in the settlement of Keeling in the county of Norfolk. [1] [3]

Early Origins of the Keeline family

The surname Keeline was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where Chellinge was listed in Yorkshire. Over the years, this place name evolved to be known as Killing or Keeling. [4]

In Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Ælfuine Celing was registered there c. 1095. Later in Suffolk, Robert Kelyng was listed in 1277. [1]

The noted historian Bardsley, notes the name is " local, 'of Keelin.' I suspect the Staffordshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire Keelings are of local origin. But I cannot find the spot. The final 'g' is in this case an excrescence, as in Jennings, Hewlings." [2]

We did find this interesting passage in the source Baines' Lancashire: "In 56 Henry III (1272), Henry de Lasey granted for his service all that land which William of Keelin and William his son formerly held, and which reverted to the grantor by the felony of William de Keelin." [5] Unfortunately, no other details were provided.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Walter de Kelin and Osbert Kelyng, in Huntingdonshire. [2]

Early History of the Keeline family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keeline research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1372, 1463, 1482, 1586, 1649, 1625, 1626, 1577, 1619, 1604, 1618, 1620, 1607, 1671, 1661, 1663, 1691 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Keeline History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keeline Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Keeline family name include Keeling, Keiling, Kealing and others.

Early Notables of the Keeline family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Keeling (1586-1649), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1625 and 1626. He was Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme. Captain William Keeling (1577-1619), of the East India Company, was a British sea captain. He commanded the Susanna on the second East India Company voyage in 1604. During this voyage his crew was reduced to fourteen men and one of the ships vanished. On his return, King James I appointed Keeling a Groom of the Chamber, and in c. 1618 he was named Captain of Cowes Castle on...
Another 132 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keeline Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Keeline family to Ireland

Some of the Keeline family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keeline family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Keeline surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Catherine Keeling settled in Barbados in 1674; Andrew and Mathew Keeling settled in Maryland in 1775; Thomas Keeling settled in Virginia in 1635.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  5. ^ Baines Thomas & William Fairbairn, Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present History of Counties London; William MacKenzie, 1867, Digital, 4 vols


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