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

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

Kellam is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Kellam family lived at Kelham in Nottinghamshire, a parish northwest of Newark. The name Kellam is derived from the Old Norse expression for at the ridges. It is most commonly found in Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.


Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Kellam, Kelham and others.

First found in Nottinghamshire. "A Norman family, who derive their name from Kelham, near Newark-upon-Trent, co. Nottingham, where they were seated at an early period. They still bear in their arms three covered cups, in allusion to the office of cup-bearer to Alan, earl of Richmond, the Conqueror's son-in-law, which was held by their ancestor. " [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kellam research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kellam History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Kellam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Kellam or a variant listed above:

Kellam Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Kellam, who arrived in Maryland in 1663

Kellam Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Kellam arrived in Philadelphia in 1840
  • B J Kellam, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • Alphonso George Kellam (1837-1909), American officer in the American Civil War, a lawyer, a politician, one of the original justices of the South Dakota Supreme Court
  • Richard Boykin Kellam (1909-1996), United States federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • Murray Kellam (b. 1998), American jurist appointed as a judge the Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Phillip Kellam (b. 1956), American politician, Commissioner of the Revenue for Virginia Beach
  • Salley Kellam, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1972
  • Robert Kellam Jr., American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1980
  • Leroy B. Kellam (1919-1995), American politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court, 1982-88
  • James Goffigan Kellam (b. 1905), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1940, 1948, 1956
  • Elmer J. Kellam, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Delaware County, 1943-52
  • Alphonso G. Kellam, American Republican politician, Judge of South Dakota State Supreme Court 2nd District, 1889-96; Resigned 1896



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Beneficiorum memor
Motto Translation: Mindful of benefits.


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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Kellam Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kellam 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 10:49.

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