Keetink History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Although Ireland already had an established system of hereditary surnames, the Strongbownians brought many of their own naming traditions to the island. There were, however, similarities between the two systems. The Strongbownians, like the Irish, frequently used patronymic surnames, a form of surname that was built from the name of the initial bearer's father, or another older relative. Norman patronymic names, because they were originally formed in French, were often created by the addition of a diminutive suffix to the given name, such as "-ot," "-et," "-un," "-in," or "-el." Occasionally, two suffixes were combined to form a double diminutive, as in the combinations of "-el-in," "-el-ot," "-in-ot," and "-et-in." These Stronbownians also created patronymic names by the prefix "Fitz-," which was derived from the French word "fils," and ultimately from the Latin " filius," which both mean "son." This prefix probably originated in Flanders or Normandy, it has disappeared from France entirely but remains common in Ireland even today. The Strongbownian surname of Keetink is derived from the Old English personal name Cyting. The Gaelic form of the surname Keetink is Céitinn. The indigenous Keaty family of Ireland, whose Gaelic name is O Céatfhadha, occasionally assumed the surname Keetink.

Early Origins of the Keetink family

The surname Keetink was first found in County Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster.

"One of the earliest of the hibernicized Anglo-Norman families, whose name was Gaelicized Céitinn. They settled in south Leinster." [1]

Early History of the Keetink family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keetink research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1908, 1569, 1644, 1605, 1621, 1630, 1691, 1661 and 1662 are included under the topic Early Keetink History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keetink Spelling Variations

During the lifetime of an individual person, his name was often spelt by church officials and medieval scribes the way it sounded. An examination of the many different origins of each name has revealed many spelling variations for the name: Keating, Keaty, Keeting, MacKeating and others.

Early Notables of the Keetink family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Seathrún Céitinn, (English: Geoffrey Keating), (c. 1569-1644), Irish Roman Catholic priest, poet and historian from Tipperary, buried in Tubrid Graveyard in the parish of Ballylooby-Duhill. "After education in a school near his birthplace, where Irish literature was taught, he was sent abroad for his university education. The name of ‘P. Geofroy Ketting, docteur en theologie, Vatterford,’ appears in a list of Irish priests who were protected and educated by the Archbishop of Bordeaux at Bordeaux between 1605 and 1621. Keating certainly returned to Ireland as a priest...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keetink Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keetink family

Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Keetink: Daniel, David, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Peggy, Peter, Thomas and William Keating all arrived in Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860. In Newfoundland, Michael settled in Harbour Main in 1750.



The Keetink Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fidelissimus semper
Motto Translation: Always Faithful


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)


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