Show ContentsKeiller History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The first people to use the name Keiller were a family of Strathclyde-Britons who lived in the Scottish/English Borderlands. The name comes from when someone lived in the lands of (Easter and Wester) Keilor in the adjoining parishes of Newtyle and Kettins in Angus. The names are still common in the district. [1]

Early Origins of the Keiller family

The surname Keiller was first found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland. "Stephen de Cellar [was] burgess of Roxburgh, 1262. Duncan de Cellario, burgess of Peril 1292 is doubtless Dunkan del Celer, burgess of Perth, who rendered homage in 1296." [1]

The MacKellar variant with its various spellings is in "Gaelic Mac Ealair, 'son of Ealair,' the Gaelic form of Latin Hilarius, the name of the bishop of Poitiers, commemorated in the Felire of Oengus at 13 January. " [1]

Early History of the Keiller family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keiller research. Another 517 words (37 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1476, 1383, 1436, 1470, 1476, 1488, 1550, 1493, 1496, 1500, 1525, 1528, 1518, 1538, 1550, 1553, 1594, 1688, 1685, 1679, 1345, 1372, 1383, 1398, 1704, 1704, 1834, 1834, 1876, 1885, 1880 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Keiller History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keiller Spelling Variations

Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Keiller has appeared as Keller, Kellar, Keeler, Keilor, Keiler, Keillor, Keiller, Kelour, MacKeller and many more.

Early Notables of the Keiller family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Godfrey Keller (d. 1704), musical theorist and harpsichord player, was born in Germany, but settled in London towards the end of the seventeenth century as professor and composer. He died in November 1704, leaving a widow and two sons. To the elder, Godfrey, he bequeathed his ‘best fiddle’ and spinet. [2] Mary MacKellar (1834-1890), highland poetess, daughter of Allan Cameron, baker at Fort William, was born on 1 Oct. 1834. She married early John Mackellar, captain and joint-owner of a coasting vessel, with...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keiller Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Keiller family to Ireland

Some of the Keiller family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Keiller migration to the United States +

The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Keiller Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Keiller, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Keiller (post 1700) +

  • Alexander Keiller FSA (1889-1955), Scottish archaeologist, pioneering aerial photographer, businessman and philanthropist who worked on an extensive prehistoric site at Avebury in Wiltshire, England
  • Alexander Keiller FRSE LLD (1811-1892), Scottish physician and gynaecologist, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 1875–1877
  • Alexander Keiller (1804-1874), Scottish businessman active in Gothenburg, Sweden, father of James Keiller who in 1906 donated an area around Ramberget to Gothenburg city to be named Keillers Park
  • Patrick Keiller (b. 1950), British film-maker, writer and lecturer
  • Mr. Robert Keiller C.B.E., British Chairman for Scottish Enterprise was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017, for services to Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Keiller MacKay PC, DSO, VD, QC (1888-1970), Canadian 19th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1957 to 1963

  1. 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)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. 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) on Facebook