Keville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Keville family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in the place named Keevil in the county of Wiltshire. [1] The name was originally spelled Chivele in the Domesday Book and claim descent from the Normans. According to the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae, Hais, Peter, Robert Cauvel were of Normandy, 1198; and William, Ranulph, and Gohier Caval were there 1180-1195. [2]

The territory of Chivele in ancient England including two mills, was granted to Anulf de Hesdine, who was a Norman Baron originally from Pas de Calais, in the canton of Hesdin. Hesdine was a tenant-in- chief in Keevil. [3]

Early Origins of the Keville family

The surname Keville was first found in Hampshire where Keevil, Keevill, Kevill, Kivill all descend from Hugh de Chiuilli c.1110 in Winton. Later in Dorset, William de Keuill was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1203 and Elias de Kivili was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Kent in 1205. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included an entry for John Kewel in Oxfordshire [4] and in Somerset, William de Kiwell was registered there, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

Early History of the Keville family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keville research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1580, 1969, 1620 and 1751 are included under the topic Early Keville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keville Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Keevill, Keville, Kevell and others.

Early Notables of the Keville family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Keville family to Ireland

Some of the Keville family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Keville migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Keville name or one of its variants:

Keville Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William L. Keville, who arrived in Norfolk, VA in 1858

Canada Keville migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Keville Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Keville, who settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1834
  • Miss. Bridget Keville, aged 17 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Larch" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [6]
  • Mr. Michael Keville, aged 14 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Larch" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Keville (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General William J. Keville (1877-1960), American Acting Adjutant-General of Massachusetts (1943-1946) [7]
  • Dorothy A. Keville, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1972, 2000 [8]
  • Sir William Keville,


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) William Keville. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Keville/William_J./USA.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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