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Kell Family History

Kell Surname Meaning

German: from Middle High German and Middle Low German kelle ‘trowel’ hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of such tools. German: habitational name from any of the places especially in Rhineland named Kell from Middle Low German kel (a field name denoting swampy land) or from kelle ‘steep path ravine’ (see Kelle ). English (northern): from the Old Norse personal name Kel Kæl shortened from Áskell (from Ásketill) Ulkel (from Ulfkil) or similar rather than from the single-element name Ketill (see Kettle ) or its descendants the shortening of which in Scandinavia occurs later. English (northern): variant of Keel or perhaps sometimes Keld a habitational or topographic name from Middle English keld ‘spring’ (Old Norse kelda) or from any of several places called with this word such as Keld in Westmorland North Yorkshire and Yorkshire. Irish (Antrim and Leitrim): variant of O'Kell which may itself be a variant of O'Kelly .

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Keil, Bell, Dell, Kehl, Pell, Knell, Tell, Fell, Ell, Hell

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Where is the Kell family from?

You can see how Kell families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Kell family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Kell families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 490 Kell families living in Durham. This was about 40% of all the recorded Kell's in United Kingdom. Durham had the highest population of Kell families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Kell surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Kell ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Kell. 13% of Kell men worked as a General Labourer and 74% of Kell women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Kell were Incapacitated and Private Means. .

View Census Data for Kell | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Coal Miner Below
  • Retired
  • Incapacitated

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
  • Private Means
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Kell family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 56,000 census records available for the last name Kell. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Kell census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Kell

Passenger Lists

There are 6,000 immigration records available for the last name Kell. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Cards

There are 12,000 military records available for the last name Kell. For the veterans among your Kell ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Kell lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Kell life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1997. The average life expectancy for Kell in 1940 was 67, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Kell

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