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

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English McKill family come from? What is the English McKill family crest and coat of arms? When did the McKill family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McKill family history?

The ancestors of the bearers of the McKill family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found near a well or spring; keld was a common word in the north of England for these. According to some experts, the surname McKill is also occasionally derived from the Old Norse word ketill, which means cauldron and sometimes refers to such an object used in sacrificial rites. [1]


Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name McKill include Kell, Kel, Kelle, Keld and others.

First found in Hampshire, but the name could have derived from the place name Keld of which there are two in England: Keld (or Keilde), a hamlet in Cumbria; and Keld, another hamlet in North Yorkshire. Another reference claims the name was "formerly written Cail, and said by the family to be derived from Cailly in Normandy. " [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKill research. Another 315 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1311, 1379, 1524 and 1739 are included under the topic Early McKill History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the McKill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name McKill or a variant listed above: Neil Kell, who sailed to America in 1685. David Kell sailed to Philadelphia in 1742; Hugh Kell to Boston in 1766 and John Kell to New York in 1811.


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  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The McKill Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McKill Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 November 2015 at 10:56.

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