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KEITHs in South Carolina

O'Keeffes of Ireland



*The KEITH Family*
(The Keefes sometimes mispelled cousins)

This is actually the Scottish tartan (woven pattern) for the O'Keeffe clan, not to be confused with the Irish Coat of Arms. Since there is sometimes misunderstandings over the spelling of Keith and Keefe, I rhought it would be amusing to place the wrong tartan here.


Click on the tarten to see the
true colors for the Keith Clan


My surnname is KEEFE, but it has been mispelled as KEITH on many instances. I can't count how many times when a phone operator asked "K-e-i-t-h?" and I had to say "No, it's K-e-e-F-e." I have also found a group of my ancestors who for no apparent reason changed the spelling of their name from Keefe to Keith in the early 1900s. With this mispelling occurring today, then it is certainly possible that some of the Keefe/Keith ancestors' names were incorrectly written in early documents, but determining when Keith was a Keefe or actually a different surname can be quite difficult. Anyway, here is presented a brief history on the origins of the Keiths, the sometimes mispelled cousins of the Keefes


The Scottish Clan Legend

History tells us that the Keiths were wealthy, land owning nobles in Scotland for hundreds of years. A legend explains to us how it all began:

A young warrior, named Robert Keith, in 1010 A.D. was said to have slain a great giant named Camus. Robert was rewarded by the Scottish King Malcolm II with a large estate and a Knighthood. The story tells of how the King dipped his fingers in the blood of the fallen giant and drew three strokes on the upper part of Robertís shield. These same type of red stripes became an important part of the coat of arms for the Clan of Keith.


The Keiths flourished in Scotland and were honored and respected. Sir William Keith was named Earl Marischal in 15th century by the King of England, and all boded well for these families. In the 16th and 17th centuries during the Protestant Reformation some Keiths undoubtedly participated in the Scottish immigration to Ireland . Some of these people may have a century later been part of the Scotch-Irish settlers that American history speaks so readily about. Unfortunately in the 18th century the Keiths took the side of those rebelling against the government. in the Jacobite Wars of Scotland,. Those not killed in battle or imprisoned were removed of their property and titles. It was at this point that Keiths and related families began fleeing to other countries, near and far including the American colonies. However, the first of this surname to come to America arrived even earlier, the first was Rev James Keith who immigrated in 1662, and then George Keith.came 1666.


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This page is part of a site related to:
Keefe Family of South Carolina


For more detailed information about Keith ancestors, visit Larry Keith's web site








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