Keith / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Keith
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Keith is taken from a very powerful Scottish family who were Great Marischals of Scotland. For supporting Robert the Bruce they were granted the lands of Kintore. They were created Earls Marischal in the year 1458. The first Earl of Kintore was Sir John Keith, third son of the sixth Earl Marischal. The second Earl supported the Old Pretender and lost the office of Knight-Marischal which went to his son, the third Earl, at a later date. The Earl supported the Old Pretender and that title was attained in 1715. In 1778 the title passed into the Falconer family. In 1593 the town of Peterhead was founded by the fifth Earl Marischal. Keith Hall at Inverurie, is the seat of the Earls of Kintore.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. During the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Ireland was colonized by the English Crown with this period marking the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. This period brought an influx of settlers into the country but, unlike the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century that resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Keith