Keigwen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The surname Keigwen was originally formed in the western region of Britain in the rugged country of Wales. Keigwen was initially a nickname for a person who was nicknamed "white dog" from the Old English word "Kei" - a dog, and "gwyn" - white: and thus figuratively, a hero. Nicknames form a broad category surnames, and were frequently the result of a spontaneous reaction to a particular occasion or event; thus their meanings were significant to the original bearers and their contemporaries, but baffle modern scholars who lack knowledge of the original context of the nickname.
Early Origins of the Keigwen family
The surname Keigwen was first found in Cardiganshire (Welsh: Sir Aberteifi), the former Kingdom of Ceredigion, created as a county in 1282 by Edward I, and located on the West coast of Wales, where they held a family seat.
The name rose to prominence when they moved to Cornwall and settled at Mousehole where the first on official record was Carne Keigwin of Mousehole about 1380. "An ancient Cornish family. Mr Dixon derives the surname from Welsh and Cornish roots signifying White Dog, and the three greyhounds argent in the arms seem to allude to this derivation." 
Early History of the Keigwen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keigwen research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1410, 1432, 1595, 1658, 1646, 1641, 1716, 1682, 1700, 1595, 1639, 1700, 1682, 1690, 1605, 1647, 1665 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Keigwen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keigwen Spelling Variations
The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Keigwen have included Keigwin, Keegwin, Keggwin, Keggin, Keigwine, Keigwyn, Kedgwynn and many more.
Early Notables of the Keigwen family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was John Keigwin (1641-1716) Cornish antiquary, born at Mousehole, notable for 'Mount Calvary' in Cornish, and his translations of William Jordan's 'Creation to Flood' from Cornish to English in 1682. In 1700, Miss Juliana Keigwin of Mousehole married Thomas Clutterbuck, commanding officer of the Scilly Isles. " His direct ancestor was 'Jenkin Keigwin, gent.,' who was killed by a cannon-ball when the Spaniards landed at Mousehole on 23 July 1595. His father was Martin Keigwin, and he was the only son by a second marriage. His mother was Elizabeth, second daughter of...
Another 205 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keigwen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keigwen family
During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Keigwen: Richard Keigwin who landed in North America in 1699.
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- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.