Kellogg Surname Meaning, History & Origin
surname Kellogg is curious in that it crossed the Atlantic from England
to America where it established itself. However, by the time that
William Kellogg had started his Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and brought them
to England, the Kellogg name had virtually disappeared in England.
derived from the Medieval English kellen,
meaning “to kill” or “to slaughter,” and hog, meaning hog or pig. The
surname first appeared as Kyllehog in Essex in the 13th century.
It is possible that the surname Kellowe (which appeared in Essex
records in 1420) might have been an early variant of Kellogg.
Less likely is the similar-sounding Kelloch of Scottish origin.
Essex has an early notation of the Kellogg name – a Geoffrey Kyllehog –
in its Court rolls of 1277. The first record of a Kellogg family was in
Debden, Essex in 1525 where Nicholas Kellogg was recorded as being
taxed. Nicholas’s son Thomas is believed to be the ancestor of
the Kelloggs from Great Leighs who embarked for America two generations
By the time of the 1881 census Kellogg had almost disappeared as a
surname in England. Only five Kelloggs were recorded then, in
locations as far apart as London and Liverpool.
America. Joseph Kellogg
and his brothers Samuel and Daniel were Puritans who had left their
home in Essex for America in the 1630’s. Most Kelloggs in
America are the descendants of these three brothers.
Joseph settled in Hadley, Massachusetts, Samuel in Hatfield, and Daniel
helped found Norwalk, Connecticut. Samuel Kellogg was among the
party of English captives taken by Indians and marched to Canada in the
1677 raid on Hatfield.
Later, many of the early Kelloggs moved through the Hudson river valley
in New York state. The descendants of Daniel generally stayed in
New England, those of Joseph and Samuel had begun a migration to the
Midwest by the 1700’s. The greater number of Kelloggs were living
in New York state by the time of the 1840 census. By 1920 they
had spread out to
Michigan and California.
Kellogg was one who made the migration from New England to
Michigan. He started a lumber business at Kelloggville (named
after him) near Grand Rapids in the 1850’s. Another was John
Preston Kellogg who had been born in Hadley, Massachusetts:
of his children was John Harvey Kellogg, perhaps America’s first health
- another was Will Keith (W.K.) Kellogg, born
in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1860. He was the founder of the
cereals that are now ate all around the world.
Meanwhile, Dr. Albert Kellogg had been drawn to San Francisco by the
1848 Gold Rush. He was a botanist and devoted much of his time to
the study of trees in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Others who
made the trek west were the brothers Florentine and Frank Kellogg from
California, starting out in a wagon train that included the ill-fated
Donner party. When the Donners and a few others decided to try a
“new shortcut” to California, Kellogg elected to stay with the main
party. He arrived in northern California in time to join Major
Fremont and fight in the Mexican War.”
Frank’s son Clay
Kellogg made a name for himself for his civil
engineering works in Orange county. His home in Santa Ana has
been preserved as a museum and his descendants today run Kellogg Garden
Products in southern California.
were also Kelloggs in NW Louisiana by the mid 19th century.
The first to arrive was Titus Kellogg, his wife Lucy and children,
after his business in Ohio had failed in 1839. Before she died in
recorded the details of her family’s trip from Ohio to the wilderness
of Louisiana and the troubles they experienced there.
The entire Kellogg line was first traced in Timothy Hopkins’ 1903
three-volume work Kelloggs in the
Old World and the New. The author had a number of
connections with the Kellogg family, being raised by “two elderly
maiden Kellogg great aunts” and marrying Mary Kellogg Crittenden, a
niece of his adopted mother.
Joseph Kellogg and His Family. Joseph Kellogg was a selectman in Hadley, Massachusetts for many
years. He and his sons had grants of land and he was on the
committee to lay out lands and for the purchase of Swampfield from the
Indians. He and his family were responsible for keeping the ferry
open between Hadley and Northampton. He was also the sergeant of
the military company and was in command of the Hadley troops in the
famous Turner’s Falls fight on May 18, 1675.
He had married first, probably in England, to Joanna. Their
children, all born in America, numbered seven: Joseph, John, Martin,
Edward, Samuel, Joanna, and Sarah. Joanna died in 1666 and a year
later he married Abigail Terry. Abigail was before the court in
1673 for wearing silk (which was contrary to the law), but she was
acquitted. He fathered nine more children with Abigail: Stephen,
Nathaniel, Abigail, Elizabeth, Prudence, Ebenezer, Jonathan, Joseph,
Joseph Kellogg died in 1707.
Lucy Fletcher Kellogg in Louisiana. Like her father, Lucy Fletcher’s husband farmed, turned his hand to
merchandising, and ran an ashery where he bought the potash from local
farmers’ timber burning to process into pearl ash. But like so
many ventures at this time, his failed.
Titus Kellogg then began a search for a new frontier
which took him to Louisiana and Texas. In Louisiana, he bought
soldiers’ bounty land warrants for many thousands of acres, only twelve
hundred of which he took possession of. He also bought a
farm in Claiborne parish.
Travelling through the month of August, the family
departed from Cincinnati in a covered wagon. Despite their
northern background, the Kelloggs had six adult slaves, each with
families. Lucy made no mention of slavery as an institution in
her autobiography and gave only the most oblique references to slaves,
in order to distinguish them from her “white family.”
In Louisiana a dear sister lived nearby and the emerging
careers of her children gave her pleasure. But bad luck struck
again in the form of a cotton crop lost to the boll weevil and the
death of her husband. Having, as she said, “never been well
contented in Louisiana,” Lucy returned to the North, making her home in
Keokuk, Iowa with her two children.
WK Kellogg and His Corn Flakes. Will Keith, who had been trained as a broom maker, worked
at the Battle Creek sanitarium which his brother John had
started. Here he helped create health foods for the
patients. Through the brothers’ experimentation with wheat, they
happened on a method of flattening wheat berries into small thin
flakes. When the flakes were baked they became crisp and light,
creating an easy to prepare breakfast when milk was added.
In 1906 he started his own producing company, the Battle
Creek Toasted Corn Flakes Company. It is now the Kellogg
Company. Thus the ready-to-eat cereal industry was born.
Clay Kellogg in Orange County. The descendants of Orange county, California pioneer Hiram Clay Kellogg
held a family reunion in 2008 at the historic Kellogg
House in Santa Ana. Clay
Kellogg had been the Orange county surveyor
between 1894 and 1899, responsible for many of its roads and bridges.
In 1898 he had designed and built a Victorian house on Orange Avenue in
Santa Ana – a home for himself, his wife, Helen, and their four
children. Because of Hiram’s love of all things nautical, the
dining room was built oval, giving it the look and feel of a ship’s
wheelhouse. Three generations of the Kelloggs were to live in the
house before the family donated it to the Museum.
The house had been spared from demolition in 1980 when it was moved to
its current spot to the corner of Fairview and Harvard streets.
At its new location it is the centerpiece of the Discovery Museum of
Kelloggs in 1920. The table below show the distribution of Kelloggs in the United States, according to the 1920 US census.
Select Kellogg Names
Pitt Kellogg was a friend of President Lincoln. He came to
Louisiana after the Civil War and emerged as its carpetbagging Governor
in the 1870’s.
Morris Kellogg founded the M.R.
Kellogg Company in New York in 1901, a company – now known as KBR –
which went on to be a leader in power plant construction and in oil
industry process engineering.
W.K. Kellogg from Michigan
founded in 1906 the Kellogg Company which today produces a wide range
of breakfast cereals around the world.
Select Kellogg Numbers Today
- 5,000 in America (most numerous
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