Kettly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Viking settlers in ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Kettly. It comes from the old Norse personal name of Ketill or from the old Danish personal name of Ketil.

Early Origins of the Kettly family

The surname Kettly 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 Kettly family

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

Kettly Spelling Variations

Translation and spelling were non-standardized practices in the Middle Ages, so scribes had only their ears to rely on. This was a practice of extremely limited efficiency, and spelling variations in names, even within a single document, were the result. Over the years, Kettly has appeared Kettle, Ketley, Kettles, Ketill and others.

Early Notables of the Kettly family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Kettly family to Ireland

Some of the Kettly 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.


Canada Kettly migration to Canada +

The fertile east coast of what would become US and Canada was soon dotted with the farms of Scottish settlers. Some of them remained faithful to the crown and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others had the chance to pay back their old oppressors in the American War of Independence. That brave spirit lives on today in the highland games that dot North America in the summer. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Kettly family came to North America quite early:

Kettly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Kettly, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Saguenay" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [1]


The Kettly 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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 38)


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