Explore the Family Name Keller

The meaning of Keller

1. German and Danish: from Middle High German kellaere ‘cellarman, cellar master’ (from Latin cellarius, denoting the keeper of the cella ‘store chamber, pantry’). Hence an occupational name for the overseer of the stores, accounts, or household in general in, for example, a monastery or castle. Kellers were important as trusted stewards in a great household, and in some cases were promoted to ministerial rank. This form of the surname is also established in many other parts of Europe, e.g. in France (Alsace and Lorraine), Russia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Czechia, and Croatia. 2. English: occupational name from Middle English keller ‘maker of cauls or kells (women’s close-fitting caps or headdresses)’, a derivative of Middle English calle, kelle. 3. Irish: variant of Kelleher.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Keller in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Keller has seen some fluctuations in its popularity over a decade. Ranked 290th in the year 2000, it slipped to 317th by 2010, representing a drop of 9.31%. Despite this dip in ranking, the actual count of individuals bearing the surname Keller increased slightly from 94,300 to 98,268 during the same period, showing a modest gain of 4.21%. However, when adjusted for population growth, there was a decrease in the proportion of the surname per 100,000 people, falling from 34.96 in 2000 to 33.31 in 2010, marking a decline of 4.72%.

Proportion per 100k34.9633.31-4.72%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Keller

The Decennial U.S. Census also provides an insight into the ethnic identity associated with the surname Keller. In the span of a decade, there were notable shifts among different groups. The fraction identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander grew by 35.71%, from 0.42% in 2000 to 0.57% in 2010. Similarly, those identifying as belonging to two or more races saw a substantial increase of 30.63%. The Hispanic representation also increased significantly by 51.68%. The number of Kellers who identified as Black rose modestly by 7.52%. In contrast, the percentage of White Kellers decreased slightly by 1.65%, while the proportion of American Indian and Alaskan Native remained relatively stable, showing a minor decrease of 2.13%.

Two or More Races1.11%1.45%30.63%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.42%0.57%35.71%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.47%0.46%-2.13%

Keller ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Keller is British & Irish, which comprises 37.9% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (35.4%) and Eastern European (6.4%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish37.9%
French & German35.4%
Eastern European6.4%

Possible origins of the surname Keller

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Keller have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom77.50%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom77.20%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom77.20%
Merseyside, United Kingdom77.10%
Lancashire, United Kingdom76.60%

What Keller haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Keller is R-U152, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-U152 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L48 and R-P311, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Weber, Bauer, Miller, Schmidt, Mueller, Wagner, Hoffman, Snyder, Meyer, Becker.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Keller surname are: T2b, H, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

kellerPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Keller have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Keller" Surname 43.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Keller" Surname 25.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Keller" Surname 21.6%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Keller" Surname 17.3%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Keller?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Keller are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%