Show ContentsKelty History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Pictish clans of ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Kelty. It comes from in the lands of Keltie, which were found near Callander in the county of Perth.

Early Origins of the Kelty family

The surname Kelty was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from very early times on the old lands of Keltie, near Callander.

Early History of the Kelty family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelty research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1616, 1628, and 1647 are included under the topic Early Kelty History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kelty Spelling Variations

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Kelty has appeared Keltie, Kelty, Keltey and others.

Early Notables of the Kelty family (pre 1700)

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

Kelty Ranking

In the United States, the name Kelty is the 13,247th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Kelty migration to the United States +

Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Kelty name:

Kelty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John and Thomas M'Coller Kelty, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1820
  • B. Kelty who settled in Boston Massachusetts with eleven children in 1822
  • B Kelty, aged 33, who landed in America in 1822 [2]
  • George Kelty, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1839
  • James Kelty, who settled in America in 1854

New Zealand Kelty migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kelty Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Kelty, (b. 1842), aged 20, British general servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [3]
  • Miss Mary Kelty, (b. 1851), aged 20, Irish general servant from County Tipperary, Ireland, travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship 'Merope' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th August 1871 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kelty (post 1700) +

  • William H. R. Kelty, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Frederick, Maryland, 1865-66 [4]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook