Surname Saturday: Kitten

FlorenzKittenThose who regularly read the Surname Saturday articles know that there are usually multiple theories as to a surname’s origin.  Such is the case again today with the Kitten surname.

According to House of Names, the Kitten surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, possibly residents of a village in Durham or Rutland called Ketton.  Alternatively, there was also a place called Keaton in County Devon.  Therefore, this source proposes that Kitten is a habitational name.  Spelling variations include: Keaton, Keeton, Ketton, Keton, Ketyn and Keetyn and more.

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22 Comments

  1. Yea!!! This is so good. Thank you! The guy with the chart was not at the conference.

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    • So glad you enjoyed it … is Florenz a relative of yours?

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      • The members of the Kitten family in Lubbock County, Texas, are descendants of Heinrich Kitten. In the late nineteenth century, land at Ferdinand was all taken, so a group of Ferdinand residents moved to Lawrence, Nebraska, and homesteaded there. One of them was Henry Kitten, who fathered twelve children, one of whom was my grandfather Joseph Kitten. Later, the lack of land again occurred, so in 1910, Henry and Joseph travelled to Slaton, Texas, and bought land that had been given to the Santa Fe Railroad by the State of Texas in order to finance the building of railroads. Henry purchased a half section of land for each of the boys. The girls were expected to marry someone with land.
        In 1911, Joseph and Laura Heilers married in Lawrence and loaded all their belongings on the train and moved to Slaton. As his brothers married, they followed suit until all were living west of Slaton.

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        • Oh, thank you for sharing that! I suspected that the Kittens of Lubbock County were descended from Heinrich and now I know how they arrived here — great story!

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          • Heinrich Kitten of Ferdinand apparently had a brother who settled at Teutopolis, Illinois. My cousin Jerry married a girl from Harvey, Illinois. During a visit in the 1980’s, Jerry checked the Chicago phone book and called a Kitten listed in the book. He was directed to Mack Kitten of Teutopolis who is a sixth cousin of ours. Jerry also made contact with our cousin in Ibbenburen, Germany, who is descended from the third brother who remained in Germany when the other two emigrated. This cousin lives on the family farm that has been occupied by the Kitten family since about 1200 A.D. At our family reunion in Lubbock in 1990, we had cousins from all three branches of the family in attendance.

          • That is awesome! I love those kind of stories. Thanks for reading my blog (and becoming a new follower)!

    • Please share! 🙂 Would love to meet you and hear all about the Kitten family.

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  2. Wow, I can’t believe I found this. I am the 10th generation granddaughter (based on public records) of Theophilus Kitten. My family has always identified as Irish but we do recognize Bavarian ties as well. Your article is the first “proof” I’ve had of this beyond my mother’s stories. Thank you.

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    • I am acquainted with some of the Kitten family here in Texas. One friend, who is also a distant cousin, married into the Kitten family of Slaton, Texas. They have a Kitten reunion in Lubbock, Texas every five years (2015 was the most recent). One of them has written a book about the Kitten family. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Hope it’s okay to post this here. I have a Kitten ancestor, a Martha Kitten b. 1655 in Annapolis, MD m. John Leatherwood.
    Their . Her father is purported to be Peter Kitten, born England, date unknown who married a Martha, last name unknown. Does anyone know if the MD Kittens were all descended from Theophilus? Have any of the Texas Kittens taken an autosomal dna test? I tested at FamilyTreeDNA.com, would love to see if I can find confirmation of a connection to Theophilus through an autosomal match. Martha and John Leatherwood’s grandson, Zachariah Leatherwood, is my direct ancestor. Also, about the book on the Texas Kittens? Could you give me the title, and the author’s name? Would love to try and find a copy. Thanks so much!

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by! The name of the Kitten book is “Whole Kitten Kaboodle” and is available on Amazon. A good friend of mine (and a distant cousin as we genealogists tend to find!) married into the Kitten family. With her permission I am giving you her email address. Her name is Kathy Kitten and she lives in Slaton, Texas, home to many, many Kittens: kawpk1@gmail.com

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      • Thank you, Sharon!

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      • I am trying to find the Whole Kitten Kaboodle on Amazon and can’t seem to find it. My mother’s family is part of the Lubbok Kitten clan.

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        • I am not a member of the Kitten family but am acquainted with some of them. The last I heard it was available on Amazon but in searching myself I see it doesn’t seem to be there any longer. Perhaps they pulled it to update it again (2nd edition was the latest). You might try contacting the author directly (hopefully this email is current): jerryjkitten@gmail.com

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          • Thank you!

          • Hi, Ms. Sharon, This is Jerry Kitten on 8/29/2017 and Amazon still has “THE WHOLE KITTEN CABOODLE” 2nd edition.

          • Jerry .. hope you are well! I just updated the article with a link to your book at Amazon. I see it’s currently Kindle Unlimited — I’m checking it out!

        • Abigail, I found the book by Jerry at Barnes and Noble.com just now. I wish you luck!

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          • Thank you, Cousin!

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