I estimate that there are about 4,500 people in the world with the name Kelsall. This based on the average of various estimates as shown in this table. While it is expected that most live in the UK, it might be surprising that for a name that originated in England as many as 30% now live in other countries.

United Kingdom

Using various methods I estimate the current UK population to be about   3,100.

  1. The population of Kelsall in the 1881 census in England and Wales   was about 1585 (including variant spellings such as Kellsall and Kelsal) in a total population of 26 million.  Extrapolating to a current (2011) population of about 56 million (England & Wales) yields about 3,400 for Kelsall in 2011. This method may over estimate considering impacts of immigration. The analysis leaves out the relatively small Kelsall population in Scotland.
  2. Using the same method as above extrapolating from the 1901 population of Kelsall (1907 including variants) yields about 3,300 and extrapolating from the 1911 population of Kelsall (2073 including variants) yields about 3,200. Making an adjustment for a relatively rapid increase in the UK population since 2001 (which may be immigration related and would have less effect on  a stable name like Kelsall) the estimate reduces to 3,100.
  3. A similar method based on census and General Register Office (GRO) data uses factors presented by Alan Bardsley in the JOONS Vol 7-19. These factors give the link between births per annum and total population in any year 1541 to 1991 for England and Wales. Using these factors you can calculate population in a non-census year from a known population in a census year. If I use the 1841 Kelsall census population with Alan’s factors I get a predicted 1991 population of 2584. With 1851 and 1861 I get an average 2729 and with 1871 to 1911 I get an average 3042. The average of all census from 1841 to 1911 is 2907.
  4. The 1939 Register includes 1,538 people with the name Kelsall. The register recorded 41 million names but approximately 11 million of  these are closed for viewing. Using 1,538 in a population of 30.6 million and extrapolating to current population yields an estimate of 2,800 Kelsall.
  5. From the website Public Profiler, the population of Kelsall in 1998 in the UK was 2,260, or 61 per million names, making it the 2,596th most  common name. The website indicates that the incidence of Kelsall was 61 per million names, which is the same proportion observed in the 1881 census although by 1911 the proportion had fallen to 57.5. It is noted that with a proportion of 61 per million applied to the 1998 population of England and Wales the predicted Kelsall population is about 3,400.
  6. As noted above the incidence of Kelsall in the 1911 census was 57.5 per million names, In the Great War 49 Kelsall men from Britain fell. This is a proportion of 59 per million out of 831,385 total deaths recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. A listing of Kelsall casualties is provided here.
  7. The website Locate My Name indicates a Kelsall population in the UK of 2,700 based on 605 records in their database. The source of their records and extrapolation methods are not given.
  8. In the late 1990s I obtained a British Telecom subscribers disc that   included 763 Kelsall subscribers out of a total number of 14 million. Extrapolating to the current population for England and Wales provides a Kelsall population of about 3,100. Again this may over estimate considering impacts of immigration.
  9. The website Surnames of England and Wales records a Kelsall population of 3,112. The website states ” This is an extract of an Office of National Statistics database, and contains a list of surnames in use in England, Wales and the Isle of Mann in September 2002. The list contains almost 270,000 surnames, shared by 54.4 million people. The entire database contains over a million surnames, shared by 55.9 million people, but names shared by fewer than five people have been excluded from this list. The database was established in 1998, and births are continually added, but the 1.5 million deaths between 1998 and 2002 have not been weeded from the system. The database is also said to include a level of duplicate entries and misspelt surnames, as well as people currently living abroad and temporary visitors to England and Wales. However, experience suggests that multiplying the result for your surname by 0.93 will give a good idea of the living population for your surname”. Applying a factor of 0.93 to 3,112 yields an estimate of 2,900.
  10. Findmypast has a database UK Electoral Registers 2002-2014. This includes 99,413,944 total records and 4,944 named Kelsall. This equates to 49.7 Kelsall/million or an estimated Kelsall population of 2,785 based on 56 million total population. However, this calculation is based on a total number of records from the whole of the UK including Scotland and Northern Ireland. If I make the assumption that the Kelsall population density in Scotland and Northern Ireland is much lower than in England and Wales I can make a rough adjustment to the Kelsall total yielding a result of 3,183.
  11. The website Forebears gives a 2014 population of 2,699 (2,517 in England, 90 in Wales and 92 in Scotland),


Considering projections from past census numbers it must be noted that there has been significant emigration of the Kelsall name. This is discussed here where it is known that the current population of Kelsall overseas is as much as 40% of that remaining in England and Wales.

At the same time the total population has also been influenced by migration (I have seen an estimate that 15 million people left Britain for America and the Empire mainly in the 19th Century). If the rate of Kelsall migration was about the same as the rest of the population the impacts of migration should cancel out. Also, it is necessary to consider impacts from immigration since the mid-20th C –  given that it is reasonable to suppose that few immigrants would have the name Kelsall (other than returning emigrants). I would suggest that the increase in Kelsall population since the 1960s has been less than the increase in the population as a whole.

At this time, I think that the projection from the electoral rolls is relatively reliable. All the projections are within +/- 10% of the mean.

From the BT lists about half of all Kelsall households in the U.K. are in two counties, Staffordshire and Lancashire. About 70% are in four counties, Staffordshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. This is consistent with the distribution seen in the census from 1841 to 1911. Details are provided here.

United States

Using various methods I estimate the current US population to be about 450.

  1. Tabulations of all surnames occurring 100 or more times in the Census 2000 returns are provided by the US Census Bureau. This provides a count of 376 for Kelsall, ranked as the 51,945th most common name.
  2. The website Public Profiler indicates that the incidence of Kelsall is 1.78 per million names. Applied to a total population of 320 million, the predicted Kelsall population is about 570.
  3. The website Locate My Name indicates a Kelsall population in the US of 395 based on 317 records in their database. The source of their records and extrapolation methods are not given.
  4. The website Whitepages gives a Kelsall population of 423.
  5. The Social Security Death Index 1935 – 2014 available on Family Search and Ancestry includes over 94 million records. A search for Kelsall gives 177 records equivalent to 1.88 per million or about 600 in the total population. This number may be biased high by a relatively aged Kelsall population.
  6. The US Kelsall population (counting only exact spelling) was 67 in 1880 when the total US population was 50.2 million. Extrapolating to the current US population of 310 million yields an estimate Kelsall population of 414. By the same method, the current population of Kelsall plus common variant spellings could be about 500.
  7. From 1910 to 1940 (the five most recent censuses available) the Kelsall population (without variants) ranged from 1.4 to 1.6 per million total US population. Using the average 1.52/million the estimated current Kelsall population is 470. Intuitively this estimate would seem to be high considering a shift towards more immigration from non-European countries.
  8. The website Forebears gives a 2014 population of 506.
  9. The website HowManyOfMe gives a population of 453 based on 2000 data.

From the website Whitepages, the state with the largest Kelsall population is Pennsylvania with 67 (16%) and about 50% live in 6 states: Pennsylvania, Colorado, New York, California, Illinois and Missouri. There is at least one person called Kelsall in 33 states. Pennsylvania also had the largest Kelsall population in most of the census returns from 1880 to1940 as shown here.


There were 38 Kelsalls in the 1921 census equivalent to a frequency of 4.3 per million. Locate my Name gives a  frequency of 3.44 in the current population equivalent to a Kelsall population of 125.The website Forebears gives a 2014 population of 133.


Electoral rolls for Australia for 1903 to 1980 are available on Ancestry.  These contain 2904 Kelsall records in 104 million total records, equivalent to a frequency of 28 per million. Locate my Name gives a frequency of 21 per million in the current population and Public Profiler a frequency of 32. An average frequency of 27 is equivalent to a Kelsall population of about 650. The website Forebears gives a 2014 population of 522.

New Zealand

Electoral rolls for New Zealand for 1853 to 1981 are available on Ancestry.  812 Kelsall records in 21 million total records is equivalent to a frequency of 39 per million. Locate my Name and Public Profiler give almost the same frequency of 36 million in the current population. An average frequency of 37 is equivalent to a Kelsall population of about 165.The website Forebears gives a 2014 population of 187.

South Africa

The website Forebears gives a 2014 population of 91.


The website Forebears gives a 2014 population of 19 in Spain and 18 in Singapore.