- This name is of English locational origin from a place in the West Riding of Yorkshire called Keighley. Recorded as Chichelai in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as Kikeleia in early Yorkshire Charters dated 1170, the first element may be either the Olde English pre 7th Century personal/nickname "cicca" from "cicen", a chicken, or the Olde Norse "kika" or "keik(r)" meaning a bend or a creek, plus the Olde English "leah", itself corresponding to the Olde Norse "lo" meaning a low lying meadow, hence, "Ciccca's meadow" or, "the meadow by a creek". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). In the "modern" idiom the name has eight spelling variations, Keigh(t)l(e)y, Keitley, Keatley, Keetley, Kightly, Kitlee and Kitley. On June 17th 1690 John Kettley married a Margaret Harvey in St. Katherine by the Tower, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Kighele, which was dated 1272, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.