Show ContentsKetely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The story of the Ketely family stretches back through time to the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The name Ketely was derived from the old Norse personal name of Ketill or from the old Danish personal name of Ketil. [1] [2]

"The personal name Chetell occurred in the Domesday Book of 1086." [3] [4]

Early Origins of the Ketely family

The surname Ketely was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland.

"'Kettles were weavers at Muthill, Perthshire, and gun-makers at Doune in the same county' in the eighteenth century. The name of the gun-makers is spelled Kettell and Caddell, and they were probably relations of the Kettells, weavers in Muthill. Ketell de Perth was burgess there in the reign of Alexander II. James filius Ketel witnessed a composition between the Priory of May and Duncan de Inchesireth (now Inchyra), c. 1250." [1]

Further to the south in England, one of the first records of the family was William Ketel (fl. 1100), a medieval English writer and clergyman. Little is known of him other than he wrote a work containing miraculous stories about Saint John of Beverley. He is presumed to have been clerk of Beverley Minster at that time.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included entries for the family as both a forename and surname: Emma filius Ketel, Cambridgeshire; Kettle le Mercer, Cambridgeshire; and Reyner Ketel, Norfolk. [5]

The Feet of Fines for Essex listed Adam Keterch(e) in 1317 and the same rolls included Roger Keterch(e) at Colchester in 1379. [2]

Early History of the Ketely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ketely research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1524, 1583, 1513, 1676, 1612, 1700, 1576 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Ketely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ketely Spelling Variations

Standards used to judge the accuracy of spellings and translations did not yet exist in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations in names dating from that era, are thus, an extremely common occurrence. Ketely has been recorded as Kettle, Ketley, Kettles, Ketill and others.

Early Notables of the Ketely family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Ketely family to Ireland

Some of the Ketely 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 Ketely family

The New World was far from the oppressive regime of the old country. It was a place where there was more land than people and political and religious freedom were far easier to come by. Many Scots even got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. In recent years, interest in this heritage has been generated by Clan societies and regular highland games in North America. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Ketely name: Peter Kettell settled in Boston in 1635; Edith Kettle settled in Nevis in 1653 along with William; Ralph Kettle settled in Virginia in 1698; Margarita, Sarah and Wennell Kettle arrived in Philadelphia in 1733..



The Ketely 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: Bono vince malum
Motto Translation: Overcome evil with good.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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