Keel Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Keel Origin:

Scandinavia, England, Netherlands

Origins of Keel:

The surname of Keel is said to have three possible origins from which it was derived. The first possible origin of the surname of Keel is that it hailed from the country of Scandinavia, and was a locational surname. This means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. The locations from which this surname of Keel originated were East Keal and West Keal. The word itself originated from the Old Norse word of “kiolar” which can be translated to mean “keel” or “ridge.” The second possible origin of the surname of Keel is that it is a locational name from the country of England. The place names from which the surname of Keel derived include Keele in Staffordshire. This place name derives from the Old English word of “cy-hyll” which can be translated to mean “cow hill,” coming from “cy” which means “cow” and “hyll” which means “hill.” The last possible origin of the surname of Keel is that it was an occupational surname. This means that the original bearer of the surname of Keel most likely was a boatman or a boat builder, meaning that he actually carried out this job. Occupational surnames were not originally hereditary surnames. They only became hereditary if the son followed in his father’s footsteps for a career; then the surname became hereditary and was used by the children and spouse of the son. In the case of the surname of Keel, those who bore this name in an occupational sense derived their name from the Middle Dutch word of “kiel” and the Old English word of “kele,” both of which can be translated to mean “ship.”


More common variations are: Keely, Keele, Keell, Keelu, Keeli, Keehl, Keelo, Keela, Kheel, Ke El, Keyel, Kewel, Koeel, Kieel, Keiel



The first recorded spelling of the surname of Keel can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of Robert de Kele, who was mentioned in the document known as the Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire in the year of 1273. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Edward I, who was known throughout the ages as one “Hammer of the Scots,” and was thus named for the hardships that he placed upon the people of Scotland. King Edward I ruled from the year of 1272 to the year of 1307.

United States of America:

Many European citizens migrated to the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries to escape the living conditions in their homelands. This movement of people was known as the European Migration. Among those who migrated was one Isabell Keel, who arrived in the state of Maryland in the year of 1675.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Keel: United States 9,833; England 812; South Africa 749; Switzerland 747; Australia 256; Canada 243; Mexico 183; Estonia 169; Germany 168; Brazil 111; Malaysia 101; India 100

Notable People:

Leslie Grace Keel (born in 1974) who was a production designer from America.

Terrence McCauley “Terry” Keel (born in 1958) who was a founding partner of the Keel & Nassour Law Firm, which is located in Austin, Texas, and who served as a Texas State Representative from the year of 1997 to the year of 2007, and who was from America.

Stephen Keel (born in 1983) who was a soccer player from America.

Larry Keel (born in 1968) who is a singer and songwriter in the bluegrass genre from America.

Harry Clifford “Howard” Keel (1919-2004) who was an actor and singer from America, and who starred in many 1950’s musicals, and who is most notably recognized for his roles in Show Boat (1951), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Kismet (1955), and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).

James Frederick Keel (1871-1954) who was a baritone singer, a composer of art songs, and an academic from the country of England.

John Alva Keel (1930-2009) who was an author and a journalist from America.

Othmar Keel, who was a scientist from the country of Switzerland.

Daniel Keel (born in 1930) who was a publisher from the country of Switzerland.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(London). Quarterly, crenelle argent and sable in the flrst quarter a crescent of the second.

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