Keight History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Anglo-Saxon name Keight come from its first bearer, who was a person who had acquired the nickname of the kite, which was originally derived from the Old English word cyta, referring to the "kite" the bird of prey. [1] [2] In this case the original bearer of the surname earned this name due to their wild, and high-spirited nature.

Early Origins of the Keight family

The surname Keight was first found in Norfolk where Richard Kete was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1166. Years later, Richard Kyte was listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243; William Ket in the Hundredorum Rolls for Norfolk in 1275; Peter le Kyte in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327; and John Kette in the Subsidy Rolls for Cumberland in 1327. Ralph atte Kete was found in the Pipe Rolls for Kent in 1292. [3]

In Yorkshire, Hugo Kyte was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [4] Again in Norfolk, but much later, John Kyte, was Rector of Wolferton in 1507. [5]

Early History of the Keight family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keight research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1632, 1660, 1766, 1739, 1783, 1790, 1549, 1549, 1483, 1547, 1589, 1761, 1766, 1537, 1513, 1521, 1521, 1537 and 1537 are included under the topic Early Keight History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keight Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Keight has been spelled many different ways, including Kyte, Kite, Keyt, Keyte, Kight, Kyteson and others.

Early Notables of the Keight family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Robert "Ben" Kett, an English yeoman farmer in Norfolk who joined rebels as their leader in what was later to be known as Kett's Rebellion on July 8th 1549; he was later tried for treason and hanged from the walls of Norwich Castle on 7 December 1549. He "was a member of an old Norman family...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keight Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Keight family to Ireland

Some of the Keight family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 165 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Keight family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Keights to arrive in North America: Ann Kite who settled in Virginia in 1660; John Kite settled in Virginia in 1656; Patience Kite settled in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1718; Charles and James Kite settled in Pennsylvania in 1773.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print


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