Ketly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The descendents of Viking settlers in ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Ketly. It was derived from the old Norse personal name of Ketill or from the old Danish personal name of Ketil.

Early Origins of the Ketly family

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

However, one of the first records of the family was found further south in England where William Ketel ( fl. 1100) was 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.

Early History of the Ketly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ketly research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ketly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ketly Spelling Variations

Intuition and sound were the primary sources medieval scribes used to judge appropriate spellings and translations for names. The spelling of a name thus varied according to who was doing the recording. The different spelling variations of Ketly include Kettle, Ketley, Kettles, Ketill and others.

Early Notables of the Ketly family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Ketly family to Ireland

Some of the Ketly 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.


United States Ketly migration to the United States +

In their new home, Scots found land and opportunity, and some even fought for their new freedom in the American War of Independence. Some, who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In this century, the ancestors of both of these groups have begun recovering their illustrious national heritage through Clan societies and other Scottish historical organizations. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Ketly name:

Ketly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Ketly, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]


The Ketly 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. ^ 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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