Kelke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Kelke family

The surname Kelke was first found in Lincolnshire "on the estate of Kelke, [which] was owned by a family so designated from it. " [1] Great Kelk and Little Kelk are found in the East Riding of Yorkshire and date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where they were collectively known as Chelche. [2] Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Barnaby le Wold, held by Earl Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester who was recorded in the Domesday Book.

Early History of the Kelke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelke research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1510, 1600 and 1190 are included under the topic Early Kelke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kelke Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Kelk, Kelke and others.

Early Notables of the Kelke family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Kelke family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Kelke or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
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