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Key Family History

This interesting surname with variant spellings Kay, Kaye, Kayes, Keay, Keays, Keeys, Key, Keye, Keyes, Keys, Keyse, is derives from a number of different sources. Firstly, it may be an occupational name for a maker of keys or for someone who held the office of key bearer, deriving from the old English pre 7th Century "coeg" meaning "key". Secondly, it may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a wharf or was employed on one, deriving from the middle English, old French "Kay(e)", meaning "quay". Thirdly, it may be from the middle English given name Kay of Celtic origin from the old Welsh "cai" meaning "corn", which was borne by the boastful foster-brother of King Arthur...

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