Kiel Family History

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Kiel Name Meaning

German (common in the north of Germany and around Hamburg): in some cases probably a habitational name from the city of Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein, but more likely a topographic name for someone living by a long narrow bay or area of sheltered water, from Middle Low German kil ‘wedge’, the word from which the city derives its name. Alternatively, it may be from the same word applied as a nickname to denote a crude person. North German: possibly an occupational name for a ship’s captain, short for Low German Kilmester (Middle Low German kil ‘keel’, ‘boat’ + mester ‘master’, ‘skipper’). Kilmester is attested as a surname near Rostock in the 13th century. German: from a pet form of the personal name Kilian. Dutch: from Middle Dutch kidel, kedel ‘smock’, hence a metonymic occupational name for someone who make such garments or perhaps a nickname for someone who habitually wore one. Dutch: habitational name from a place so named in Antwerp or from the German city (see 1). Jewish (Ashkenazic): variant of Kil. Polish (Kiel): from kiel ‘tooth’, ‘fang’, hence a nickname for someone with bad or protruding teeth.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Kiehl, Kil, Kill, Kies, Lier, Biel, Keel, Kief, Kieler, Kell

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Kiel Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Kiel name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Kiel. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Germanic Europe


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


  • Norway


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Kiel Family Origin

Where is the Kiel family from?

Kiel Family Occupations

What did your Kiel ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, the most common Kiel occupation in the UK was Annuitant. 8% of Kiel's were Annuitants. A less common occupation for the Kiel family was Carman. Annuitant, Blacksmith and Bricklayer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Kiel.

View Census data for Kiel | Data not to scale

  • Annuitant

  • Blacksmith

  • Bricklayer

  • Carman


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Kiel ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Kiel Historical Records

What Kiel family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 20,000 census records available for the last name Kiel. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Kiel census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Kiel

Passenger List

There are 4,000 immigration records available for the last name Kiel. 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.

View all Kiel immigration records

Draft Card

There are 26,000 military records available for the last name Kiel. For the veterans among your Kiel ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Kiel military records

You've only scratched the surface of Kiel family history.

Kiel Life Expectancy

What is the average Kiel lifespan?

Between 1949 and 2004, in the United States, Kiel life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1954, and highest in 1997. The average life expectancy for Kiel in 1949 was 52, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Kiel

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Kiel ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Kiel Family Ancestors

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