Ketch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

Although one notes source has a different understanding of the origin on the name. In this case, Ketch is from the "Middle English [word] keech ‘a lump of congealed fat; the fat of a slaughtered animal rolled up into a lump’, used in the 16th century for a butcher: ‘Did not goodwife Keech the Butchers wife come in then?’ (Henry IV); ‘I wonder, That such a Keech can with his very bulke Take vp the Rayes o’ th’ beneficiall Sun, And keepe it from the Earth’ (Henry VIII), where the reference is to Cardinal Wolsey, a butcher’s son. " [2]

Early Origins of the Ketch family

The surname Ketch was first found in Cambridgeshire and Surrey where Reginald and Hugo Keche were listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1206 and 1219. [2]

Years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included Peter Kech, Norfolk; and Adam Kyg, Buckinghamshire. [1]

In Somerset, early rolls there show John Keche holding lands 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3]

In Norfolk, John Keche, was rector of Erpingham in 1430 and "a brass plate in the ancient church of St. Helen's, Norwich, reads: 'Hie jacet corpus Dni. Edmundi Keche, presbyteri' " [4]

Early History of the Ketch family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ketch research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1620, 1621, 1673, 1686, 1640, 1704 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Ketch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ketch Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Ketch family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Hugo Ketch of Cheshire; John (Jack) Ketch (died 1686), one of King Charles II's executioners, who became quite infamous for the terrible suffering of his victims; his name has lived on as slang for the gallows or even for death itself. Benjamin Keach (1640-1704)...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ketch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ketch migration to the United States +

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 [5]
Ketch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Ketch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. ^ 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)


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