Keelink History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Keelink surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name originated with an early member who was a person who fished codfish and was accordingly named after the fish. The surname Keelink 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 Keelink family

The surname Keelink 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.' 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 Keelink family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keelink 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 Keelink History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keelink Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Keelink has been recorded under many different variations, including Keeling, Keiling, Kealing and others.

Early Notables of the Keelink 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 Keelink Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Keelink family to Ireland

Some of the Keelink 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 Keelink family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Keelink or a variant listed above: 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.


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