Kelyng History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Kelyng is an ancient name dating from the times of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name for a person who was a person who fished codfish and was accordingly named after the fish. The surname Kelyng is derived from the Old English word keling, which means young codfish. [1] [2]

Occasionally, the name is derived from residence in the settlement of Keeling in the county of Norfolk. [1] [3]

Early Origins of the Kelyng family

The surname Kelyng was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where Chellinge was listed in Yorkshire. Over the years, this place name evolved to be known as Killing or Keeling. [4]

In Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Ælfuine Celing was registered there c. 1095. Later in Suffolk, Robert Kelyng was listed in 1277. [1]

The noted historian Bardsley, notes the name is " local, 'of Keelin.' I suspect the Staffordshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire Keelings are of local origin. But I cannot find the spot. The final 'g' is in this case an excrescence, as in Jennings, Hewlings." [2]

We did find this interesting passage in the source Baines' Lancashire: 'In 56 Henry III (1272), Henry de Lasey granted for his service all that land which William of Keelin and William his son formerly held, and which reverted to the grantor by the felony of William de Keelin.' Unfortunately, no other details were provided.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Walter de Kelin and Osbert Kelyng, in Huntingdonshire. [2]

Early History of the Kelyng family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kelyng research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1372, 1463, 1482, 1586, 1649, 1625, 1626, 1577, 1619, 1604, 1618, 1620, 1607, 1671, 1661, 1663, 1691 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Kelyng History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kelyng Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Kelyng include Keeling, Keiling, Kealing and others.

Early Notables of the Kelyng family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Keeling (1586-1649), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1625 and 1626. He was Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme. Captain William Keeling (1577-1619), of the East India Company, was a British sea captain. He commanded the Susanna on the second East India Company voyage in 1604. During this voyage his crew was reduced to fourteen men and one of the ships vanished. On his return, King James I appointed Keeling a Groom of the Chamber, and in c. 1618 he was named Captain of Cowes Castle on...
Another 132 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kelyng Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Kelyng family to Ireland

Some of the Kelyng family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Kelyng family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Kelyng were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Catherine Keeling settled in Barbados in 1674; Andrew and Mathew Keeling settled in Maryland in 1775; Thomas Keeling settled in Virginia in 1635.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.


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