Kellems History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Kellems family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived at Kelham in Nottinghamshire, a parish northwest of Newark. The name Kellems is derived from the Old Norse expression for at the ridges. It is most commonly found in Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

Early Origins of the Kellems family

The surname Kellems was 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 was the place that Charles I. spent his last night before he gave himself up to the Scottish army, who encamped on the spot in May, 1646. [2]

Early History of the Kellems family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kellems research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kellems History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kellems Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Kellems has been recorded under many different variations, including Kellam, Kelham and others.

Early Notables of the Kellems family (pre 1700)

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


United States Kellems migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Kellemss were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Kellems Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Jesse R. Kellems, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Mobile" from Liverpool, England [3]
  • Vera Kellems, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Mobile" from Liverpool, England [4]
  • Luisa Kellems, aged 52, who arrived in New York in 1924 aboard the ship "Aquitania" from Cherbourg, France [5]
  • Jessie Kellems, aged 32, who arrived in New York in 1924 aboard the ship "Aquitania" from Cherbourg, France [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kellems (post 1700) +

  • Suzy Kellems, American floor exercise competitor at the 1982 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship
  • Vivien Kellems (1896-1975), American industrialist who founded Kellems Cable Grips in 1927, inventor, public speaker, and political candidate, a fervent supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Vivien Kellems (1896-1975), American politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 1952, 1956, 1958 [7]
  • Jesse Randolph Kellems, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 16th District, 1944 [7]


The Kellems Motto +

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.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J681-NZZ : 6 December 2014), Jesse R. Kellems, 28 Sep 1920; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Mobile, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J681-NZ8 : 6 December 2014), Vera Kellems, 28 Sep 1920; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Mobile, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNHS-6Z4 : 6 December 2014), Luisa Kellems, 12 Sep 1924; citing departure port Cherbourg, France, arrival port New York, ship name Aquitania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNHS-6ZH : 6 December 2014), Jessie Kellems, 12 Sep 1924; citing departure port Cherbourg, France, arrival port New York, ship name Aquitania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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