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

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

The name Keeling was formed many centuries ago by the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name typically given to a person who fished codfish and was accordingly named after the fish. The surname Keeling is derived from the Old English word keling, which means young codfish. Occasionally, the name is derived from residence in the settlement of Keeling in the county of Norfolk.


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 Keeling include Keeling, Keiling, Kealing and others.

First found in Worcestershire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keeling research. Another 121 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1607, 1671, 1661 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Keeling History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keeling Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Keeling 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.


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:

Keeling Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Keeling, who landed in Virginia in 1628
  • Thomas Keeling settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Nicholas Keeling, who landed in Maryland in 1663
  • Henry Keeling, who arrived in Maryland in 1674
  • Catherine Keeling settled in Barbados in 1674

Keeling Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Ralph Keeling, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Andrew and Mathew Keeling settled in Maryland in 1775
  • Adam Keeling, who arrived in New York in 1784

Keeling Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Isaac Keeling, who landed in New York in 1822
  • John Keeling, who arrived in New York in 1839
  • Daniel Keeling, aged 24, landed in New York, NY in 1855

Keeling Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Sarah Keeling arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839
  • Catherine Keeling arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839
  • Isabella Keeling arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839

Keeling Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • K. Keeling arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888


  • Charles David Keeling (1928-2005), American scientist whose recording of carbon dioxide first alerted the world to the "greenhouse effect", eponym of the Keeling Curve
  • Kelly Keeling (b. 1966), American musician and songwriter
  • Jerry Keeling (b. 1939), American quarterback and defensive back in the Canadian Football League
  • Jimmie Keeling (b. 1935), American football coach
  • Harold A. Keeling (b. 1963), American-Venezuelan professional basketball player
  • Harry Keeling (1873-1898), English cricketer
  • Sir John Keeling, British Company Director
  • Melville Sydney "Butch" Keeling (1905-1984), Canadian professional hockey player
  • Captain William Keeling (1578-1620), of the East India Company, was a British sea captain
  • Sir Edward Herbert Keeling (1888-1954), British Conservative Party politician



  • The History of the Keeling Family of New York State by Stanley Harvey Keeling.

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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Keeling Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keeling 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 13 November 2014 at 16:22.

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