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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The ancestors of the name Keithley date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Keithley family lived in the settlement of Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Keithley 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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The surname Keithley was first found in Yorkshire at Keighley, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the E. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross. The first listing of the place name was Chichelai in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] "This place, anciently Kyghelay, was for many generations the property of the Kyghelay family, who either gave their name to, or derived it from, the manor; and of whom Gilbertus Kyghelay, of Utley, was buried here in 1203, according to an inscription on a stone still remaining in the parish church. In the reign of Edward I. Henry de Kyghelay, a member of the family, obtained the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair, with privilege of free warren for the inhabitants." [2]

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Keithley are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Keithley include: Keightley, Keighley, Keitley, Keightly and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keithley research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1186, 1650, 1719, 1686 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Keithley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keithley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Keithley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Keithley or a variant listed above:

Keithley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Herbert R. Keithley, aged 33, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Keithley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Wm. Keithley, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1918
  • Amy Keithley, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1919

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  • Joseph P. Keithley, American founder and CEO of Keithley Instruments, Ohio, a measurement and instrument company (1946)
  • Gary Keithley (b. 1951), retired professional American NFL football quarterback
  • Kathleen Keithley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2008
  • June Keithley -Castro (1947-2013), Filipina actress and broadcast journalist


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Keithley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keithley 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 10 November 2015 at 10:40.

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