Show ContentsKelemen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Kelemen dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived near a well or spring; keld was a common word in the north of England for these. According to some experts, the surname Kelemen is also occasionally derived from the Old Norse word ketill, which means cauldron and sometimes refers to such an object used in sacrificial rites. [1]

Early Origins of the Kelemen family

The surname Kelemen was first found in Hampshire, but the name could have derived from the place name Keld of which there are two in England: Keld (or Keilde), a hamlet in Cumbria; and Keld, another hamlet in North Yorkshire. Another reference claims the name was "formerly written Cail, and said by the family to be derived from Cailly in Normandy. " [2]

Early History of the Kelemen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelemen research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1311, 1379, 1524 and 1739 are included under the topic Early Kelemen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kelemen Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Kelemen have been found, including Kell, Kel, Kelle, Keld and others.

Early Notables of the Kelemen family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Kelemen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kelemen Ranking

In the United States, the name Kelemen is the 15,164th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Kelemen family to Ireland

Some of the Kelemen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kelemen family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Kelemen, or a variant listed above: Neil Kell, who sailed to America in 1685. David Kell sailed to Philadelphia in 1742; Hugh Kell to Boston in 1766 and John Kell to New York in 1811.

Contemporary Notables of the name Kelemen (post 1700) +

  • Judith Kelemen, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1972 [4]
  • Attila Béla Ladislau Kelemen (1948-2022), Romanian politician and Member of the European Parliament, member of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania
  • Milko Kelemen (1924-2018), Croatian composer

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from on Facebook