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Kaelin Ancestry Page
Hello and Welcome to The Kaelin Ancestry Pages.Although I have ancestors that originate in other countries with various surnames, this site is devoted to my Kaelin Ancestors. My intent is to have a central repository for all Kaelins with the hope of connecting all lines. Here you will find other Kaelins, and those researching Kaelins. You will also find information and tidbits about the Kaelin surname, it's origins and it's variations, as well as information about the Kaelin Konnections Newsletter and the KAELIN-L mailing list hosted by Rootsweb. It is my understanding that the Kaelin name, in it's original spelling of "Kälin", holds Swiss Citizenship prior to 1800. This name originated in the town of Einsiedeln, Canton Schwyz, Switzerland. Kaelins make up about one-third of the names, and is the largest surname group in the town. The earliest mention of the name is from about the 1300s and the first time this name appears on any document was in August 1319. The name supposedly comes from the German word "Kehle", which means throat. In 1609, all families in Einsiedeln obtained a Stamm-Number. The Kalin Clan, whose numbers consist of 48 lines, obtained the numbers 78 through 120. It has been suggested that a Kälin may have been involved with the forming of the Swiss Confederation, although to my knowledge there is no evidence to support this theory. It has also been suggested that there has been a Kälin serving in the Swiss Guard for hundreds of years, possibly since it's inception. Again, I have not been able to confirm this. In Switzerland the name is spelled "Kälin"; in America it has been consistently spelled "Kaelin". Although Kaelins can be found almost anywhere across the U.S., there seem to be three concentrations of them: the Louisville, Kentucky area; Seattle, Washington; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A Short Article From The Einsiedler Gazette KALIN. Old Einsiedler forest people, who are represented in all quarters with numerous families. Many clergymen, monks, and nuns came from them. Peter Kälin from Einsiedeln, born 1700, died 1762, became abbot of the monastery of Wettingen in 1745. Many of this name are also represented among Einsiedler artists. Konrad Anton Kälin from Langruti was a painter and executed the pictures on the side altars in 1752, St. Anton and Brother Klaus, in the church in Willerzell. Meinrad Kälin, born 1790, died 1834, painted miniature portraits at first, later landscapes in water color, that he etched in copper himself, especially of Gotthardstrasse for Fusslin in Zurich. Josef Kälin, carver, carved for Pfaffikon about 1693 the statues of St. Josef and St. Anna and in 1704 a crucifix, and simultaneously a Mater Dolorosa for the monastery in Fahr. This Josef Kälin is not the same sculptor of the same name, who according to the death register drowned on 2 April 1709:>>Josephus Kälin, lapicida, aquis submersus<<. Josef Adelrich Kälin, born 1728 and his sons Peter Paul, 1757-1834 and Josef Meinrad, 1761-1818, were artistic locksmiths. In 1827 Josef Benedikt Kälin performed the first lithography in Einsiedeln with the support of the monastery (P. Gall Morrel). From his studio came the illustrations in the Fass-Rigert history of the Canton of Schwyz of 1832-1833 and the accompanying coat of arms. From Einsiedeln also came the Kälin family that settled in Schwyz and was named as a (squatter/small farmer/resident with no citizen rights) in Rodel in 1676. They were admitted as new citizens in 1798 and appointed land in the old quarter in 1806. Politically the Kälin family came to the fore in the rebellion of 1764. Councilman Josef Kälin in Wani, Benedikt and Rupert were captured as leaders of the rabble(?) and taken to Schwyz and beheaded on the meadow with two saddlemakers. Josef Meinrad Kälin in 1803 was the first provincial baliff after the Helvetian (union?) and was reelected seven times by 1823. The coat of arms can be found in the chapel of 1682 with the name P. Peter Kälin, died 1695: in red a silver gorget on a trimount, accompanied by three golden stars.
The above image of the Coat of Arms was sent along with the Einsiedler Gazette article from the archives in Schwyz. The background of the shield is red, the trimount (the three shapes at the bottom of the shield) are green, the stars are gold, and the angle-iron is silver. In a separate letter that accompanied the above article and Coat of Arms is the following statement: "As an enclosure please find the coat of arms of the "Kälins", of Einsiedeln. It exists only in this form of general usage coat of arms."