Origin of the Name Kell
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Kell
include Kel, Kells, Keld and Kelle. This is a locality name meaning 'at the keld'. A keld was a smooth reach of water in a rough stream. This name is often of English descent and is found in many ancient manuscripts in that country. Examples of such are a Willelmus Keld and a Johannes Keld who were recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379. A Lancelot Kell and Jane Wilsby were recorded as having been married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London, in the year 1739. Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired lands by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. In Ireland the names Kell and Kells are derived from the old Norse word 'ketill' meaning 'cauldron' and are found mostly in Counties Cavan, Monaghan and Antrim.
The Kell coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Kell descendants.