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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Keyser family come from? When did the Keyser family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Keyser family history?

The origins of the Keyser surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name originated with an early member who was a person who behaved in an imperious manner or it may have also referred to someone who played the part of an emperor in a pageant or play. Keyser is derived from the German word kaiser, which means emperor. This was originally derived from the German word keiser, which in turn came from the Old German word keisar; these both were derived from the Latin imperial title Caesar, which was originally a family name. The most famous members of this family are the great Roman general and statesman Julius Caesar and his adopted son Augustus Caesar, who was the first Roman Emperor. The German title Kaiser was used by the Holy Roman Emperors from Otto I, who ascended the throne in 962 to Francis II, who relinquished the title in 1806. The surname Keyser was often brought to England by German settlers, many of whom were imported as laborers following the Norman Conquest in 1066.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Keyser has been recorded under many different variations, including Kaiser, Kaeser, Kaser, Keiser, Keaser, Kesser, Keysar, Keyser, Cayser and many more.

First found in Oxfordshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keyser research. Another 289 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1195, 1273, 1663, 1670, and 1739 are included under the topic Early Keyser History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Keyser Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Keyser family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 111 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Keyser or a variant listed above:

Keyser Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • George Keyser, who sailed to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1638
  • Thomas Keyser, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1638
  • Peter Keyser, who came to Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1683
  • Dirk Keyser, who arrived in Germantown in 1691
  • Dirrck Keyser, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1691-1692

Keyser Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • George Friedrich Keyser and Johann Keyser, who came to America in 1709-1710
  • Agnis Keyser arrived in Philadelphia in 1729
  • Agnis Keyser, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Eliza Keyser, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729
  • Jacob Keyser, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729


Keyser Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Bergitta Christina Keyser, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Wilhelm Keyser, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Samuel Keyser, who landed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • Masset Keyser, who landed in New York in 1839
  • Fredrick Keyser, who landed in Mississippi in 1840


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  • Cassius Jackson Keyser (1862-1947), American mathematician
  • William Keyser (1835-1904), executive of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
  • Ephraim Keyser (b. 1850), American sculptor
  • Christopher Adam Keyser (b. 1960), American producer and writer of prime-time dramas
  • Brigadier-General George Vernon Keyser (1895-1972), American Chief of Counter Intelligence Corps (1947-1948)
  • Frank Ray Keyser Jr. (1927-2015), American lawyer and politician, 72nd Governor of Vermont (1961-1963)
  • Charles Edward Keyser (1847-1929), British stockbroker and authority on English church architecture
  • Agnes Keyser (1852-1941), the wealthy daughter of a Stock Exchange member, a British humanitarian, courtesan and longtime mistress to Edward VII of the United Kingdom
  • Andre Werner Keyser (1938-2010), South African paleontologist and geologist
  • Vladimir Keyser. (b. 1878), Russian Olympic fencer

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  • History of the Descendants of Charles Keyser by Florence Skinner Miller.
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  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
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  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 12 March 2015 at 14:06.

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