History of Our Name
Three articles about the history of our name Kelloch/Kalloch and Killough/Kellough, (also Kellogg & Kellow).

Variant Spellings of the Killough Name

This is from the preface to the book
The Killough/Kellough Family in Ireland, Canada and the United States,
by Zora (Killough) Cunningham.

Since the name KILLOUGH is not spelled phonetically, there are many variations in the spelling. In Scotland, where the family lived before migrating to Ireland, the following spellings appear:

(in Argyll) Kelloch Killoh Kellock Kelloe Kelloche

(in Inverness) Kellogh Keilloh Kelloc Kello Mac Killaig

(in Fife) Kellocht Keillo Kellok Killoch MacCalleigh

(in Sterling) de Keloche Kelo de Kellow de Kellowe O'Calleigh

In Ireland before 1680 the family used "Killogh" and, less commonly, "Kilough". From 1670 to 1730, as literacy flourished, the name was spelled as "Killough" which was correct if literally translated from the meaning "Church by the Lake".

After their arrival in the American frontier, the younger generations grew up without schools and their ability to spell suffered. "Kellough" and "Keilough" were used in Pennsylvania and the Carolinas from 1730 to 1800. In the tidewater and, particularly near Southampton County, Virginia, "Killo" and "Kello" were commonly used. These families were often confused with a Cornish family of Virginia and the Carolinas, the Killiowe family.

In the south we find "Kellough" in common use from 1850 to the present. In Webster County, Kentucky, and in Texas, Alabama and Mississippi it was very common to use "Kellough". Williamson County, Tennessee, has a family that spells its name "Kellow"; before 1840 that family was listed as "Killough" in the census. Other spellings are not unusual. "Killou" was used in the mid-nineteenth century by families in Carroll County, Tennessee, and Washington County, Texas. In western Kentucky in 1800 and, later in Mississippi, the family was called "Keeler" and sometimes the name was spelled that way, although the family used the "Killough" spelling for themselves. Other spellings found in old records are "Kelough", "Keleaugh", and "Keelough".

"Kallock" or "Kalloch" is a purely American spelling variant of the Scottish "Kellock" or "Kelloch". The American spelling has been used for many generations by descendants of the family who settled in Maine.

Three variant pronunciations in use in some areas today are "Kell-low", "Key-low" and "Ki-loo'". The Gortahar, Ireland, families said "Kil'-luck." In other Irish families the pronunciation is "Kil-lawh'", the second syllable ending with a guttural sound which cannot be spelled in English.

"Though as a surname, Killough is rarely found outside northern Ulster, it is not derived from the County Down place name, Killough, but is a form used in Ireland for the Scottish MacKelloch, a sept of the clan of MacDonald."

--from Edward MacLyaht, Supplement to Irish Families.

Other books on surnames say that the name Kellogg is an old family surname of England and should never be confused with Killough or Kellough. Kellogg has always been spelled that way and belongs to many generations of Kelloggs of English heritage.

Origins of the Names Kelloch, Killough, and Kellogg

This message by: K. KELLOGG, was posted on August 14, 2001, in the Kellogg Genealogy Forum, it is only one of several messages about this topic. Please click the link to go to the "Kellogg Genealogy Forum" to view the other messages, or respond to this message.

Since the Kelloch/MacDonald line in Scotland was of prominence for over 1000 years, it seems possible to me that some branches of the family struck out on their own and immigrated to England, (constant tribal warfare is not for everyone.)

The family may have adapted the surname to the language of the new area. Of course, this would be hard to prove, but I would not rule out an early connection between this family and the Essex Kelhogs. I am also doubting that Kellogg is only a place name. What type of occupation was Kelhog connected with? If you can remember a few messages back.

I thought perhaps the hog, hoge, houg spellings were in middle-England, the lough, lowe, and lo spellings were more prominent in Ireland, and the lock, lok, and loc spellings were associated with Scotland and the Scott-Irish. These seems to be some very general trends. The theory that all these may be traced back to the Kellocks in Scotland is a theory I wouldn't prove or disprove at this point.

My doubts stem from the Kellock's family profession, which was a religious post that could be described as the greenskeepers of the holy sights in the MacDonald line's territory. These holy sights may be "church-lake" name variations, but may have evolved from the Highland's word for holy sites in general. The "church" may have been added to "lake" during the advent of Christianity, almost as a Christian claim to the holy lakes of Celtic religion, replacing the Scott's word for holy. Church actually comes from a Greek word that translates to "of the Lord", i.e. holy. Kel or Kil before a word may then designate its religious significance. So, I'm thinking that Kellock may have been a religious term or denomination name, and the Scots deemed "de" Kellock had a religious profession within the church that was hereditary in nature. Also the "holy-lake" may be a single lake that may or may not be an actual site. It could be a completely mythological or symbolic place. In other religions, waterholes, bogs, or even the sea are mythological birth places for man, and/or all of life. Likewise, they may be the home of specific deities or spirits. Later churches may have been built near bodies of water for symbolic and possibly ritual reasons. Perhaps any variation of Kellock refers to this original denomination, and those with the surname were designating themselves as converts or followers of the faith...Just an idea.

Any how, the Kelloggs were in Essex by 1277, according to the list you gave me. I agree that this is the correct line, as -hogs seem particular to Essex. I will try to stick with the program and find out information, especially of a religious nature, on the Kelhogs on your list...Thanks once again for the info...K. Kellogg. 

Ancient English Kellow Origins

This  message by Terry Davis, was posted Aug. 28, 2001 in the Kellow Genealogy Forum. It discusses the name connections and variations of Kelloch, Killough, Kellow, and Kellogg.  Click the above link to visit the "Kellow Genealogy Forum," to respond to this message, or view other messages.


It's great to hear from another Kellow! You have introduced a whole new Kellow line I believe, and I doubt that I'll be of much help. All my thoughts on Kellow history have taken quite a few twists during this year. I had previously taken the somewhat more widely accepted idea that Kellows were off-shoots and variances of the Killough ('kil'- meaning church and 'lough'- meaning lake, or "church by the lake") line. I'm sure there is some fact to that theory in some lines. I know there is evidence that some Killoughs (pronounced "KILL-lo") became Kelloughs, and some later even became Kellows and Kellos and Killows. There is a widely accepted book on the Killoughs that lays some of this out and even includes some of the variations in some of the "down-lines". By the way, I checked the book just to make sure and didn't see any Moses' at all, and only one George who I can actually account for down in Tennessee.

The Killough book traces the story of two Killough brothers who came to America late 1600's and settled in Massachusetts and later Pennsylvania. By the late 1700's, their ancestors had spread through the Atlantic states and settled in MD, VA, GA, NC, etc. There is a group of "Kello's" that appears in south-central VA in the mid to late 1700's including a Richard and Isaac. Richard was quite well-known and became a colonel of some sort. The book attributes these Kellos to a line of the Killoughs from PA mid 1700's. Though I haven't proved it yet, I feel pretty good that my Kellow line (which I can document to the late 1700's in north-central NC) may be related to these Kellos. My ancestors show up in censuses of 1800 and 1810 as "Kellow" when that was actually a very rare variant in the Killough family.

Recently I came across some research of a man in VA who is a "collateral" relative of those Kello's by marriage. He wrote a small outline on them which I have somewhere. He mentions some letters of the family documenting "Kello" siblings in England at that time (late 1700's). Since none of this really fit the family of Killoughs that come to America a hundred years earlier and resided in PA so long, I started digging more.

The book had generally led me to believe (and this was probably my fault for not thinking "bigger") that "Kellow" was merely some variant of the Scotch-Irish Killough (which arose from the Scottish "Kelloch", also 'church by the lake' -or 'loch') name of the 1500-1600's and nothing more. However, in the last few months I was contacted by someone researching the "Kelloggs" who had found several early mentions of Kellows and Kellowes in England (not Scot-Irish). The Kelloggs were trying to figure if they were connected to the Kellowes, but I think they backed off that a bit.

Anyway, they led me to some very early Kellow references in England that made me re-think the whole Scotch-Irish Killough tale (even though as late as 1880, one of my ancestors shows up on a census as Killough). And now that you have given us further proof that Kellows were in England and not just American variants of Killough, I feel better about the thought that my Kellows (and obviously yours) came to America in a different wave. Mine probably came to VA/NC mid 1700's and yours to PA early 1800's.

A few interesting VERY EARLY references to our Kellows include:

"Kellow" - Cornish (English dialect) - habitation name originating from the Cornish Kellow, plural of 'kelli' meaning wood or groove. There is/was a village in Durham called "Kellowe".

Year 1378: Close Rolls. To Gilbert de Culwen, escheator in Nothumberland and Cumberland concerning the advowson of Jesmond Chapel in Newcastle-upon-Tyne by gift of William Kellowe.

1386: Close Rolls. mentions a William Kalowe.

1398: Close Rolls. To Archbishop of York, nomination of Thomas Kellowe, clerk, to receive a pension.

1403: Patent Rolls. Grant to William Kellowe of Newcastle upon Tyne, esquire, of the office of controller of the customs and subsidies in the port of Newcastle upon Tyne.

1420: from an old "Kellogg" book: "There has been found in the Old Records Office in London, a deed, 9 July 1420, of the Manor of Wygepet in Elmedon, Arkesdes and Wygepet, in which Richard Kellowe, clerk, is mentioned as one of the grantees (Ancient Deeds C. 2222). Wygepet is about 5 miles from Debden, which is close enough to raise the question whether Kellowe may not have been an early form of the family name (Kellogg)."

1420: Patent Rolls. Presentation of Richard Kellowe, chaplain, to the church of Tyllebrook (Beds) in the diocese of Lincoln.

1420: Presentation of John Caton, chaplain, to the church of St. John the Baptist, Norwich, vacant by the resignation of Robert (Richard?) Kellowe.

1422: Patent Rolls. Commission to Thomas Kellowe and others to take stone cutters, carpenters, laborers, etc. for the works of the king's house of Jesus of Bethlehem, Sheen, Middlesex.

1428: The chamberlain (officer in a royal household responsible for budget related items, maybe including collecting revenues and paying expenses) of the English town of Lynn (in County Norfolk or Norfolkshire) was William Kellowe.

1434: Patent Rolls. Mentions William Kellowe of Norfolk.

1438: Presentation of Thomas Hoton to the vicarage of the parish church of Norton in the diocese of Durham after the resignation of Thomas Kellowe.

1441: Patent Rolls. Grant for life to the King's sargeant John Kellow of the office of messenger of the Exchequer, wages 4.5 pence a day.

1441: P. Rolls. William Kellowe, warden of the merchant gild of the Trinity of Bishop's Lynn, Norfolk.

1442: William Kellowe, burgess and beer brewer of Bishop's Lynn, Norfolk.

1442: Fine Rolls. Mentions Thomas Kelowe of Broad Blunsden, Wiltshire, gentleman, collector of taxes.

1445: Patent Rolls. John Goldsmyth of Newbury, Berkshire, the younger, butcher, for not appearing before the justices of the bench to answer Thomas Kellowe touching a debt of 4 pounds, Wiltshire.

1446: Pardon to Thomas May of Crekdale, Wiltshire, husbandman, for stealing 12 silver spoons and other goods woth 20 shillings from Thomas Kellowe of Broad Blunsden, Wiltshire.

1451: Patent Rolls. Commission to arrest and bring before the king and council (among others) Henry Kellowe of Feylo (or Filey, Yorkshire).

1461: Patent Rolls. Mentions Thomas Kelowe of Bishop's Lynn (King's Lynn, Norfolk).

1470: Patent Rolls. General pardon to William Kellowe, late of Ravenswath, Yorkshire, yeoman.

Overall, there seems to be quite a few Kellows in Norfolkshire around Lynn and some in Durham at the town of Kellowe. It could well be that the Scotch "Kelloch" became both Kellough/Kellowe and Kellogg (there were also "Kelhog's" by the 1380's) in England and Killough in Ireland.

Well, now I've gone on a bit, but I've been anting to post those notes for a while and today seemed as good a time as any. Maybe someone can make a run with them. Overall, I'm sorry I can't answer anything more directly, but your proof of more American Kellows with definite English origins is helpful. I hope you find all this interesting - it looks to me like the Kellows have a long and deep English presence, often in positions of importance as economic advisers. Them Kellows is smart folks!

Thanks for your note,


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