Keeper History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Keeper comes from when its first bearer worked as a person employed at a castle or a keep. [1] Some experts theorize that the name Keeper may have been applied as an occupational surname to a jailer. [2]

Early Origins of the Keeper family

The surname Keeper was first found in Sussex where the first record of the Keeper 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 Keeper family

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

Keeper Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Keeper include Keep, Keepe and others.

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


United States Keeper migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Keeper or a variant listed above:

Keeper Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Keeper, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [5]
Keeper Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Friederich Keeper, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750 [5]
  • Melchior Keeper, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750 [5]
  • Christian Keeper, who arrived in America in 1773 [5]
Keeper Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Linhart Keeper, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [5]
  • Andrew Keeper, who landed in Indiana in 1852 [5]
  • Friedr Keeper, aged 9, who landed in New York in 1854 [5]
  • Lisette Keeper, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1854 [5]
  • Wilhelm Keeper, aged 8, who landed in New York in 1854 [5]

New Zealand Keeper 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:

Keeper Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Keeper, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ann Wilson" in 1857


  1. ^ Lowe, 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
  5. ^ 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)


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