An English surname, Keele began in the Lincolnshire region of England, near the villages of Keal. In Middle English the term ‘kele’ meant a boat builder. The spelling variations for Keele include Keel, Keeler, Kehl, Keal and Keale. The Irish spelling would be McKeel. The early Keele families were in the Staffordshire and Lincolnshire regions of England. Over the decades the primarily residences were in the southern portion of England circled in Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent counties and the city of London. In Scotland the majority of Keele families live in Perthshire county. Between 1635 and 1685 many Keele individuals came to America to resettle. By the 1800s many Keele families were living in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee and Alabama. Into the 20th century the Keele individuals were primarily in Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina. Famous: Cyril A. Keele (pharmacology, expert on physiology).