Kill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Kill name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in Keele, a village and civil parish in northern Staffordshire, or in East Keal or West Keal in Lincolnshire. [1] The surname Kill belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

"Keel and Keirl are Somersetshire names, the Keirls being at home in the Bridgewater district. Amongst those who took up the cause of their religion in the Monmouth rebellion of 1685 were John and George Keele of Chilton, who were transported to Barbados, the first named not surviving the voyage." [2]

Early Origins of the Kill family

The surname Kill was first found in Lincolnshire where early records reveal that Robert de Kele was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [3] The same rolls list William de Kele in the same shire. [3]

As far as the origin of the place name Keele is concerned, we must look to the village and parish in Staffordshire where the name was derived from the Old English words "cy" + "hyll," and literally meant "hill where cows graze." The first listing of the place name was found in 1169 when is was listed as Kiel. [4]

Richard Kele was listed in the Feet of Fines for Yorkshire in 1246; John de Keel in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1332 and Robert Keell was in Nottinghamshire in 1481. [5]

More often than not, in Scotland, the family spelt their name Keill and or Kyill. "John Keill, chirurgian in Dundee, 1615, Thomas Kyill, burgess of Dundee, 1624, and David Keill in record in Haughmuer, 1774," [6] are but a few examples.

Keele Hall is a 19th-century mansion house at Keele, Staffordshire and the eponym of Keele University, officially known as the University of Keele, a public research university near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

Early History of the Kill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kill research. Another 47 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1562, 1671, 1721, 1671, 1673, 1719, 1703 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Kill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kill Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Kill were recorded, including Keele, Keel, Keal, Keale and others.

Early Notables of the Kill family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Keele, a Member of Parliament for Wycombe in 1562 John Keill (1671-1721), was a Scottish mathematician and important disciple of Isaac Newton, born at Edinburgh on 1 Dec. 1671. His younger brother, James Keill (1673-1719), was a Scottish physician, philosopher, medical writer and translator. " He was educated partly at home, partly on the continent. He applied himself especially to anatomy, and coming to England acquired much reputation by lecturing on that subject at Oxford...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kill migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Kill family emigrate to North America:

Kill Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Kill, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [7]
Kill Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Kill, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749 [7]
  • Jacob Kill, who landed in America in 1752 [7]
Kill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Kill, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [7]
  • Thomas Kill, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [7]

Australia Kill migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Caroline Kill, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [8]
  • Mr. James Kill, (b. 1832), aged 30, Cornish farm labourer departing from Liverpool in 1861 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 16th March 1862 [9]
  • Mrs. Kill, (b. 1834), aged 28, Cornish general servant departing from Liverpool in 1861 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 16th March 1862 [9]


  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Stebonheath.htm
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf


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