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Family History Resources K Surnames Origins & Meanings

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Many surnames are associated with the place/locality of where the family lived and in those cases the location is noted as the meaning.
Many surnames are associated with the occupation of the person given the name.

Surname Origin Meaning
Kaiser German              German Emperor from the Latin Caesar
Kaufman German              German An occupational name for a merchant or tradesman
Kavanagh Celtic-Gaelic       Celtic-Gaelic Coamhanach, mild, benevolent, merciful
Kay Locality            Locality In Cornish British, signifies a hedge, inclosure, a place of security, a fortified place
Kaynard Gaelic              Gaelic Kinnaird, a place in Perthshire, Scotland
Keach Keech, a mass, a lump
Kean Gaelic              Gaelic Ceann, the head, the top, a chief, a commander
Kebby Danish              Danish Kiob, buying, purchase, bargain, and by, a town
Keel A low, flat-bottomed vessel
Keeler One who manages barges and vessels
Keen Bold, eager, daring
Keese Dutch               Dutch Cornelius
Keigwin Cornish-British     Cornish-British kei, a dog, and gwyn, white
Keith Lands in Banffshire, Scotland
Kellerman German              German worker or dweller in a wine cellar or tavern
Kellogg Gaelic              Gaelic a cock, coileach
Kelly Gaelic-Welsh        Gaelic-Welsh A grove, generally of hazel
Kelsey Locality            Locality A town in Lincolnshire, England
Kelso Locality            Locality Town in Roxburghshire, Scotland
Kemble Campbell
Kemp Saxon               Saxon combat
Kempenfelt Locality            Locality The camping or kemping field
Kemphall The soldiers' quarters
Kempshall The soldiers' quarters
Kempster Dutch               Dutch kampen, to fight, or kamper, a champion
Kempton The camp town; place of the army
Kemyss Gaelic              Gaelic a person whose nose is turned upwards
Kendall Locality            Locality Town in Westmoreland, England
Kendrick Saxon               Saxon Kennen, to know, and ric, rich
Kennan Gaelic              Gaelic Ceanann or Ceanfhionn, white-headed, bald
Kennard Gaelic              Gaelic Kinnaird, a place in Perthshire, Scotland
Kennedy Celtic-Gaelic       Celtic-Gaelic Kean-na-ty; the head of the house, or chief of the clan
Kennicot Cornish-British     Cornish-British Chennicat, a singer
Kent Locality            Locality County in England
Kenward Saxon               Saxon A cow-keeper
Kenyon Welsh               Welsh Ceinion, beautiful
Kercher Anglo-Saxon         Anglo-Saxon cark, a prison; carker, a jailor
Kerr Gaelic              Gaelic Kaer, a castle
Kerswell Locality            Locality The well where water-cresses grow
Kessler German              German coppersmith
Ketman German              German From Kette, a chain, and mann
Kettle Locality            Locality the parish of Kettle, in Fifeshire, Scotland
Kevin Celtic              Celtic Coemhghin, the beautiful offspring
Keys Keyus, an old Roman word for a warden or keeper
Keyser German              German An emperor
Kibby Danish              Danish Kiob-by, a market town, the place of buying
Kid A young goat
Kidder A dealer in corn, provisions, and merchandize
Kief Danish              Danish Brave, valiant, stout, bold
Kiel German              German Town in Lower Saxony
Kiernan Gaelic              Gaelic a heap
Kiersted Danish              Danish Kier, a marsh, and sted, a dwelling, a town
Kilburne Locality            Locality Village in Middlesex, England
Kilgour Gaelic              Gaelic ancient name of a parish in Fifeshire, Scotland
Kilham Locality            Locality A town in England
Killin Gaelic              Gaelic A place in Perthshire, Scotland
Kimberley Dutch               Dutch a champion, a fightingman
Kimble Campbell
Kincadd Gaelic              Gaelic Ceanncath, the chief or commander of the battle
Kincade Gaelic              Gaelic From ceann, head, and cath or cad, battle
King Scottish            Scottish head or leader
Kinghorn Locality            Locality A borough in Fifeshire, Scotland
Kingston Locality            Locality The name of several towns in England
Kinloch Locality            Locality From lands in Fifeshire
Kinnaird Gaelic              Gaelic Kinnaird, a place in Perthshire, Scotland
Kinnard Gaelic              Gaelic Kinnaird, a place in Perthshire, Scotland
Kinnear Gaelic              Gaelic Ceanneir, from Ceann, head, and eir, an abbreviation of fear, a man
Kinney Gaelic              Gaelic Cine, kindred, a clan, a tribe
Kinsley Gaelic              Gaelic Ceannsallach, authoritative, commanding, ruling
Kipp German              German a situation on or near a precipice
Kirby Locality            Locality towns in England
Kirk Teutonic            Teutonic Kirche, a church
Kirkaldy Locality            Locality a town in Fifeshire, Scotland
Kirkham Locality            Locality Kirk, a church, and ham, a village
Kirkland church land
Kirkpatrick Locality            Locality A parish in Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Kirnan Gaelic              Gaelic Carnan, a heap
Kirwan A corruption of O'Quirivane
Kiskey Cornish-British     Cornish-British Blessed, happy
Kitson son of Christopher or Kit
Kitts son of Kit or Christopher
Klein German              German small, little
Kling German              German Klinge, a blade, a sword
Knapp German              German Knappe, a lad, boy, servant, workman
Knevett Normandy            Normandy Duvenet
Knickerbacker Dutch               Dutch Cracker-baker
Knight admitted to the privilege of bearing arms
Knightley Knight, and ley, a place or field
Knoll The top of a hill
Knowles The top of a hill
Knox Gaelic              Gaelic Cnoc, a little hill
Kohler German              German charcoal burner
Krause German              German someone with curly hair
Krebs Locality            Locality A town in Upper Saxony, Germany
Kriege German              German war or warrior
Krieger German              German war or warrior
Krugar German              German a maker or seller of stoneware mugs and jugs
Kuester German              German sexton
Kunstler German              German artist or skilled artisan.
Kuster German              German sexton
Kyle Locality            Locality District in Ayrshire, Scotland
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