Keigwent History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The birthplace of the name Keigwent was in the rugged hills and Moors of Wales. The name started out as 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 Keigwent family
The surname Keigwent 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 Keigwent family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keigwent 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 Keigwent History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Keigwent Spelling Variations
There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Keigwent have included Keigwin, Keegwin, Keggwin, Keggin, Keigwine, Keigwyn, Kedgwynn and many more.
Early Notables of the Keigwent 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 Keigwent Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Keigwent family
Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Keigwent were found: Richard Keigwin who landed in North America in 1699.
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- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.