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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Keil family come from? What is the English Keil family crest and coat of arms? When did the Keil family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Keil family history?

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. 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.

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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.

First found in Lincolnshire where early records reveal that Robert de Kele was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls list William de Kele in the same shire. [1] 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. [2] 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keil research. Another 93 words(7 lines of text) covering the years 1562, 1671, 1721, 1673 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Keil History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 75 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • Hans Yerick Keil, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Johan Jacob Keil, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749
  • Johann Henrich Keil, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763

Keil Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Heinr Keil, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Leonhard Keil, who arrived in America in 1832
  • Balthasar Keil, who landed in America in 1835
  • George Keil, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836
  • William Keil, who arrived in New York, NY in 1837


Keil Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Keil arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865

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  • Mark Keil (b. 1967), former American professional tennis player
  • Lillian Kinkella Keil (1916-2005), highly decorated American World War II and Korean War flight nurse
  • Johann Friedrich Karl Keil (1807-1888), conservative German Lutheran Old Testament commentator
  • Rudi Keil (b. 1977), South African rugby union centre
  • Alfredo Cristiano Keil (1850-1907), Portuguese romantic composer and painter
  • Freddie Keil, New Zealand musician
  • Susanne Keil (b. 1978), German female hammer thrower
  • Bernhard Keil or Keil (1624-1687), Danish Baroque painter who became a pupil of Rembrandt
  • Josef Keil (1878-1963), Austrian historian, epigrapher and an archaeologist
  • Franz von Keil (1862-1945), Austrian naval officer during World War I


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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Keil Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keil Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 February 2015 at 11:43.

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