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Kells Family History

This interesting surname is of Old Norse origin, and derives from the Scandinavian (male) personal name "Ketill", often used as a short form of various Old Norse compound names such as Asketill and Arnkell. These names were composed of apparently disparate elements, "ketill" meaning "(sacrificial) cauldron"; Asketill means "god-cauldron", from "oss, ass", god, and Arnkell, "eagle-cauldron", from "arn", eagle, and both are found in the modified surnames of today as Ashkettle, Haskell, Arkle and Arkley.

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