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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The origins of the Ketch surname date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from an early member of the family who was a person who because of their physical characteristics and physical abilities was referred to as kedge a Old English word that described someone who was brisk or active. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

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The surname Ketch was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Ketch has been spelled many different ways, including Ketch, Keech, Keach, Kedge and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ketch research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1620, 1686, 1640 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Ketch History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ketch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Ketchs to arrive in North America:

Ketch Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Margaret and Susan Ketch, who settled in New England in 1665 with their husbands

Ketch Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Ketch, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1741
  • John Nicklas Ketch, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741

Ketch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Ketch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. 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).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Ketch Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ketch 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 5 September 2013 at 13:37.

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