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Home: Surnames: Key Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Origins of Key name
Posted by: Julia Key (ID *****8748) Date: August 27, 2011 at 16:43:56
In Reply to: Origins of Key name by Christopher Key of 4783

There are many origins of the "Key" surname. It does exist in Sweden, Denmark and Holland. However, most people who bear the surname in America came from somewhere in Great Britain. It does exist in Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales. For some in Great Britain, it may be a variation of the Scandanavian/Dutch form of the name through Viking/Anglo-Saxon invasions, it may also be a profession name (one who has the "Key" to a treasury). From the French/Norman translation it may refer to someone who lives near a quay or an island. Some genetic studies have shown an overlap with the surname "Kay" - especially in Yorkshire, England. My husband who has the Key/Kea surname had genetic YDna testing for a "Key" surname project which showed that there are many unrelated "Key" families in the US, Canada, Great Britain and in some of the former British colonies. If your ancestors came from Canada, a large group of Key/Keyes in Canada come from a related "Scots-Irish" family from Northern Ireland. Good Luck!


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