Keepe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Keepe comes from one of the family having worked as a person employed at a castle or a keep. [1] Some experts theorize that the name Keepe may have been applied as an occupational surname to a jailer. [2]

Early Origins of the Keepe family

The surname Keepe was first found in Sussex where the first record of the Keepe family was Thomas ate Kepe who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. A few years later, Robert de Kepe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Cumberland (Cumbria) in 1332. [2]

In Somerset, early rolls there revealed Roger Kep and Richard atte Kippe, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

"On his accession in 1272 the new King appointed Sir Adam Keeper of Woolner Forest, and we subsequently find him a great landowner in Somerset, Dorset, Sussex and Cambridge. His residence was in Hampshire, at a house called The Temple, that overlooked the forest. He was married three times. " [4]

Early History of the Keepe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keepe research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1617, 1643, 1661, 1743, 1652, 1688, 1652, 1668 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Keepe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keepe Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Keepe have been found, including: Keep, Keepe and others.

Early Notables of the Keepe family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Henry Keepe (1652-1688), English antiquary, born in Feuter (now Fetter) Lane, in the parish of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London, in 1652, was the son of Charles Keepe, who served as a cornet in Sir W. Courtney's regiment of cavalry during the whole of the civil wars, and was afterwards employed in the exchequer office. Henry entered New Inn, Oxford, as a...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keepe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keepe family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Keepe, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : James Keep settled in Virginia in 1774; B. and G. Keep arrived in San Francisco in 1852; John Keep arrived in Philadelphia in 1753.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3


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