Select Kellogg Surname Genealogy

The surname Kellogg is curious in that it crossed the Atlantic from England to America where it established itself.  However, by the time that William Kellogg had started his Kellogg's Corn Flakes and brought them to England, the Kellogg name had virtually disappeared in England.

Originally, Kellogg was an occupational name for a pork butcher, derived from the Medieval English kellen, meaning "to kill" or "to slaughter," and hog, meaning hog or pig.  The surname first appeared as Kyllehog in Essex in the 13th century.  It is possible that the surname Kellowe (which appeared in Essex records in 1420) might have been an early variant of Kellogg.  Less likely is the similar-sounding Kelloch of Scottish origin.

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England.  Essex has an early notation of the Kellogg name - a Geoffrey Kyllehog - in its Court rolls of 1277. The first record of a Kellogg family was in Debden, Essex in 1525 where Nicholas Kellogg was recorded as being taxed.  Nicholas's son Thomas is believed to be the ancestor of the Kelloggs from Great Leighs who embarked for America two generations later.

By the time of the 1881 census Kellogg had almost disappeared as a surname in England.  Only five Kelloggs were recorded then, in locations as far apart as London and Liverpool. 

AmericaJoseph Kellogg and his brothers Samuel and Daniel were Puritans who had left their home in Essex for America in the 1630's.  Most Kelloggs in America are the descendants of these three brothers.

Joseph settled in Hadley, Massachusetts, Samuel in Hatfield, and Daniel helped found Norwalk, Connecticut. Samuel Kellogg was among the party of English captives taken by Indians and marched to Canada in the 1677 raid on Hatfield. 

Later, many of the early Kelloggs moved through the Hudson river valley in New York state.  The descendants of Daniel generally stayed in New England, those of Joseph and Samuel had begun a migration to the Midwest by the 1700's.  The greater number of Kelloggs were living in New York state by the time of the 1840 census.  By 1920 they had spread out to Michigan and California

Michigan  Francis Kellogg was one who made the migration from New England to Michigan.  He started a lumber business at Kelloggville (named after him) near Grand Rapids in the 1850's.  Another was John Preston Kellogg who had been born in Hadley, Massachusetts:
  • one of his children was John Harvey Kellogg, perhaps America's first health fanatic. 
  • another was Will Keith (W.K.) Kellogg, born in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1860.  He was the founder of the Kellogg's breakfast cereals that are now ate all around the world. 
California  Meanwhile, Dr. Albert Kellogg had been drawn to San Francisco by the 1848 Gold Rush.  He was a botanist and devoted much of his time to the study of trees in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Others who made the trek west were the brothers Florentine and Frank Kellogg from Illinois.

"Frank had made the migration to California, starting out in a wagon train that included the ill-fated Donner party.  When the Donners and a few others decided to try a "new shortcut" to California, Kellogg elected to stay with the main party.  He arrived in northern California in time to join Major Fremont and fight in the Mexican War."

Frank's son Clay Kellogg made a name for himself for his civil engineering works in Orange county.  His home in Santa Ana has been preserved as a museum and his descendants today run Kellogg Garden Products in southern California.

Elsewhere  There were also Kelloggs in NW Louisiana by the mid 19th century.  The first to arrive was Titus Kellogg, his wife Lucy and children, after his business in Ohio had failed in 1839.  Before she died in 1881, Lucy Kellogg recorded the details of her family's trip from Ohio to the wilderness of Louisiana and the troubles they experienced there.          

The entire Kellogg line was first traced in Timothy Hopkins' 1903 three-volume work Kelloggs in the Old World and the New.  The author had a number of connections with the Kellogg family, being raised by "two elderly maiden Kellogg great aunts" and marrying Mary Kellogg Crittenden, a niece of his adopted mother.

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If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

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William Pitt Kellogg was a friend of President Lincoln.  He came to Louisiana after the Civil War and emerged as its carpetbagging Governor in the 1870's.
Morris Kellogg founded the M.R. Kellogg Company in New York in 1901, a company - now known as KBR - which went on to be a leader in power plant construction and in oil industry process engineering.
W.K. Kellogg from Michigan founded in 1906 the Kellogg Company which today produces a wide range of breakfast cereals around the world.

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  • 5,000 in America (most numerous in Michigan)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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