Keil History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Keil family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Keil comes from when the family lived in Keele, a village and civil parish in northern Staffordshire, or in East Keal or West Keal in Lincolnshire. [1] The surname Keil belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

"Keel and Keirl are Somersetshire names, the Keirls being at home in the Bridgewater district. Amongst those who took up the cause of their religion in the Monmouth rebellion of 1685 were John and George Keele of Chilton, who were transported to Barbados, the first named not surviving the voyage." [2]

Early Origins of the Keil family

The surname Keil was first found in Lincolnshire where early records reveal that Robert de Kele was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [3] The same rolls list William de Kele in the same shire. [3]

As far as the origin of the place name Keele is concerned, we must look to the village and parish in Staffordshire where the name was derived from the Old English words "cy" + "hyll," and literally meant "hill where cows graze." The first listing of the place name was found in 1169 when is was listed as Kiel. [4]

Richard Kele was listed in the Feet of Fines for Yorkshire in 1246; John de Keel in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1332 and Robert Keell was in Nottinghamshire in 1481. [5]

More often than not, in Scotland, the family spelt their name Keill and or Kyill. "John Keill, chirurgian in Dundee, 1615, Thomas Kyill, burgess of Dundee, 1624, and David Keill in record in Haughmuer, 1774," [6] are but a few examples.

Keele Hall is a 19th-century mansion house at Keele, Staffordshire and the eponym of Keele University, officially known as the University of Keele, a public research university near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

Early History of the Keil family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keil research. Another 47 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1562, 1671, 1721, 1671, 1673, 1719, 1703 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Keil History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keil Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Keil has appeared include Keele, Keel, Keal, Keale and others.

Early Notables of the Keil family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Keele, a Member of Parliament for Wycombe in 1562 John Keill (1671-1721), was a Scottish mathematician and important disciple of Isaac Newton, born at Edinburgh on 1 Dec. 1671. His younger brother, James Keill (1673-1719), was a Scottish physician, philosopher, medical writer and translator. " He was educated partly at home, partly on the continent. He applied himself especially to anatomy, and coming to England acquired much reputation by lecturing on that subject at Oxford...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Keil migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Keil arrived in North America very early:

Keil Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Carl Keil, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1728 [7]
  • Hans Yerick Keil, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [7]
  • Johan Jacob Keil, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 [7]
  • Johann Henrich Keil, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763 [7]
Keil Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Heinr Keil, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1808 [7]
  • Leonhard Keil, who arrived in America in 1832 [7]
  • Balthasar Keil, who landed in America in 1835 [7]
  • George Keil, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836 [7]
  • William Keil, who arrived in New York, NY in 1837 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Keil 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:

Keil Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Keil, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • Mr. William Keil, (b. 1848), aged 26, Scottish agricultural labourer, from Fife travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 31st December 1874 [8]
  • Mrs. Alexina Keil, (b. 1851), aged 23, Scottish settler, from Fife travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 31st December 1874 [8]
  • Miss Catherine Keil, (b. 1870), aged 4, Scottish settler, from Fife travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 31st December 1874 [8]
  • Miss Isabella Keil, (b. 1872), aged 2, Scottish settler, from Fife travelling from Greenock aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 31st December 1874 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Keil (post 1700) +

  • Lillian Kinkella Keil (1916-2005), highly decorated American World War II and Korean War flight nurse
  • Mark Keil (b. 1967), former American professional tennis player
  • Ralph F. Keil, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Delaware, 1973-75 [9]
  • Norma Elliott Keil (b. 1906), American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1956; Member of Montana Democratic State Committee, 1958-64 [9]
  • Frederick W. Keil, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1877-85 [9]
  • Franz von Keil (1862-1945), Austrian naval officer during World War I
  • Josef Keil (1878-1963), Austrian historian, epigrapher and an archaeologist
  • Bernhard Keil or Keil (1624-1687), Danish Baroque painter who became a pupil of Rembrandt
  • Susanne Keil (b. 1978), German female hammer thrower
  • Freddie Keil, New Zealand musician
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bismarck
  • Herbert Keil (1919-1941), German Maschinengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [10]


  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details


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