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KEYES Family History

This interesting name has an unusual number of verifiable origins, any one of which could be the source of the modern surname. It is an occupational name for a maker of keys or for someone holding the ceremonial office of key-bearer, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "caeg", key. It can also be a topographical name for one living or working on a wharf, from the Middle English "kay(e)", quay. The Celtic personal name "Cai" or "Key", thought to be from the Roman name "Gaius" or "Caius" is another source, and two nicknames, one from the northern dialect (Middle English) "kay", meaning "jackdaw" and one from the Danish dialect word "kei", left, for a left-handed man, are further possible sources...

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