This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the various places in Scotland called Keil(l)our or Kelloe; from Kellah, a hamlet south west of Haltwhistle in Northumberland, or from Kelloe, a parish south east of Durham. The last mentioned place, recorded as "Kelflau", circa 1170 in Early Records of Durham, and as "Kellawe" in Episcopal Registers of that county, dated 1225, was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "celf", calf, and "hlaw", low hill, mound. The cottish places include: Keillour, a village in Forfarshire, east of Coupar-Angus; the Lands of Easter and Wester Keilor in the adjoining parishes of Newtyle and Kettins in Angus, and the old lands of Kelloe on Blackadder Water in the barony of Hume, Berwickshire. These places may also be named with the Olde English "celf-hlaw" (as above), or alternatively from the Old Norse "keld, kell", a spring, and "oe", island, or piece of land surrounded by streams. Early examples of the surname include: Ranulph de Kelor (Aberdeenshire, 1296); Richard de Kellow (Roxburghshire, circa 1338); and Andrew Kelo, burgess of Aberdeen (1542). On April 8th 1826, Elspet Keiloh and James Davidson were married at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, and an Alexander Keilloh from Auchterless, Aberdeenshire, appears on a list of those killed in the Great War - "The war book of Turriff and twelve miles round" (1926). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Kellawe, bailiff of the king of Scotland, which was dated 1278, in a "Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.
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