Keaton Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Keaton Meaning
surnames Keaton and Keeton derive from the
place-name Ketton, recorded as Chetene in Rutland in the 1086
Book. The name developed as a surname
primarily in Derbyshire. Keeton is
found in the UK, Keaton in America
.  Keaton may have some
Irish roots, possibly a variant of Keating.

Keaton Resources on

Keaton Ancestry

England. There
was an early de
Keuton family
who owned land near present-day Sheffield
Yorkshire from the 14th century. John de
Keuton was recorded as a Sergeant of Arms in 1368.
These de Keutons sold their estate to Sir
William Hewet, the Lord Mayor of London, in 1580. However,
their name continued in Keeton Hall
which his descendant the Duke of Leeds built on the land in 1730. In 1811 Keeton Hall was pulled down by the
6th Duke, supposedly on a bet with the Prince of Wales.

The Keeton name has been
more common in neighboring Derbyshire.
Edward Keeton was recorded in North Wingfield parish around the
1650. John and Emma Keeton were married
in the Eckington parish in 1750 and the Keeton name has continued there. These Keetons were involved in sickle
scythe making in the early 19th century, while some later became coal
miners. William Keeton of this
played cricket for Nottinghamshire and England in the 1930’s.

In addition to
Derbyshire, the Keeton name was also evident in Nottinghamshire and in
Yorkshire around Sheffield. Hadyn
Keeton, the organist at Peterborough Cathedral, was born in Sheffield. An estimated 90% of Keetons were to be found
in these three counties in the 1881 census.

America.John Keeton was an early
in 1610, in the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Although
he seems to have died during the Indian uprising in 1622, his
wife Mary and son William survived. Grandson
William was recorded as a Quaker in Virginia in 1686.
James Keeton was a captain during the
Revolutionary War. Later Keetons
migrated to Kentucky and then to Tennessee, settling in Decatur county
in the

Zachariah Keaton, possibly related, had migrated with two brothers from
Virginia to Wayne county, Tennessee earlier in 1809.

Henry Keaton was born
either in England or in Virginia sometime in the 1660’s.
He was first mentioned in the 1690’s as part
of the Quaker community in Pesquotank county, North Carolina. Seven generations of sober Quakers followed,
the last of them being Joseph Z. Keaton, a miller who migrated West to
in 1833.

His son Joe was something
else. Joe Keaton left home at the
age of 26 “with eight bucks and a Winchester rifle” for Oklahoma
territory. He ended up in a travelling vaudeville act with his
wife, selling patent medicines on the side. Their son Buster
Keaton achieved global fame as a comedian during the silent era of
movies. The actress Camille Keaton is a distant relative.

Another Keaton line, according to family lore, was thought to have
come from Ireland. Kader Keaton was a
planter by the Ogeechee Creek in South Carolina. His
son Kader Jr. migrated to Georgia
sometime after the Revolutionary War.
was a Primitive Baptist minister there in


Keaton Miscellany

The de Keuton Family.  The de Keuton (sometime de Kiveton) family first appeared in public records in 1297 as
residents of Harthill parish in south Yorkshire.

John de Keuton was a Sergeant of Arms in the
locality in 1368.  A John de Kyveton, rector at Radcliffe during the reign of Edward III,
land and rent to Roche Abbey on the condition that the abbot would say mass
every day at the chapel of the Holy Trinity in Kiveton.

John Keton was recorded as the clerk at the
chapel in 1547.  Nicholas Keeton held the
family estate at that time.  However, he was obliged to sell these
lands in Harthill parish to Sir William Hewet, the Lord Mayor of London, in 1580.

Keetons in the 1881 Census

County Numbers Percent
Derbyshire    160    35
Nottinghamshire    141    29
Yorkshire    111    24
Elsewhere     52    12
Total    460   100

The most numbers were in Handsworth (33) and Sheffield
(25) in Yorkshire, Eckington in Derbyshire (43), and Nottingham (39).

John Keeton the Immigrant.  Details
about John Keeton or Keiton the immigrant are
sketchy.  He was thought to have been
born in Kent, although no family antecedents can be found there.  He may or may not have had a brother named
James.  He was one of the early settlers
of the Jamestown colony, possibly around 1610.
He did marry Mary Pryor, the daughter of William Pryor another
settler, and they did have a son named William.

John Keeton disappears from the Jamestown records in 1622.
he killed by the Indians on that terrible Good Friday, March 22, 1622,
they slaughtered 347 of the inhabitants?
We do not know for sure.  His name
did not appear on the official list of victims.
However, it is understood that not all of the victims were
identified by

William Keaton of Carroll County, Georgia.  William Keaton, a Primitive Baptist preacher, was born in Washington City, Georgia in
1813.  When he was three his father Kader
died and the family moved to Liberty City.
In the lottery of 1827 they drew land in Carroll county where
moved.  William married three times and
had eleven children by his first two wives.

of his children dispersed around or after the Civil War.
The family of Will Keaton, who was born there
in 1867, has remained in Carroll county.

Diane Keaton’s Line.  Diane Keaton took her mother’s
name of Keaton when she made her acting debut.
These Keatons have been traced back to Lemuel West Keaton who
was born
in Buncombe, North Carolina in 1819.  He
died in Kansas in 1891 and it was recorded about him then:

“Lemuel W. Keaton has lived in five other
states, Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, California and Missouri. Being a Union man it became too disagreeable
to longer remain in Missouri so he came to Kansas in 1864, his home
since.  In 1858 he united in marriage with
Martha M.
Maret who shared the blessings of his home until 1880. Eleven
children are the fruits of this union,
eight of whom are still living. He leaves three grandchildren.

Keaton has been a great sufferer for
years.  His late illness was of such a
nature as to prevent lying down to rest; so he kept his chair, and
awaited his
change with great patience.  During his
sickness he told me the mistake of his life had been in neglecting his
salvation in youth, but for some time past he had been a daily
petitioner at
the throne of grace, and now had the assurance of his acceptance as a
child of

was where Diane Keaton’s
mother Dorothy was born in 1921.

drifted to California when she was three and they ended up in Pasadena.   She was sixteen when her father departed
family.  She later married and raised her
family in Orange county.  She was a
beautiful woman, a winner in the Mrs. America contest and widely



Keaton Names

  • Buster Keaton was an American actor, comedian, and stuntman during the silent movie era.
  • Diane Keaton, born Diane Hall,
    is a well-known American actress. She took her mother’s maiden name for her acting career.
  • Michael Keaton is the stage name of Michael Douglas, an American actor and comedian.

Select Keaton Numbers Today

  • 1,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Derbyshire)
  • 5,000 in America (most numerous in Ohio)



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