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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Keogh family come from? When did the Keogh family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Keogh family history?

The surname Keogh originally appeared in Gaelic as "O hEochaidh" or "Mac Eochaidh," derived from an Irish personal name "Eachaidh," meaning a "horseman."

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People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Keogh that are preserved in archival documents are Hoey, O'Hoey, Hoy, Hue, Kehoe, Keogh, MacKeogh and many more.

First found in Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times at Ballymackeogh, and were descended from the MacKeoghs who in turn were descended from their eponymous ancestor Eochaidh O'Kelly one of the ancient Kings of Ui Maine.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keogh research. Another 454 words(32 lines of text) covering the years 1534, 1653, 1725, 1798, 1828, and 1893 are included under the topic Early Keogh History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Keogh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Keogh name:

Keogh Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Keogh, who arrived in Leeward Islands in 1721
  • Mathew Keogh, who landed in America in 1795
  • Mathias Keogh, who arrived in America in 1795

Keogh Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Keogh, aged 38, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Mary Keogh, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • J Keogh, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Edward Keogh, born in county Wexford, settled at Stone Island in 1816
  • Michael Keogh, who landed in New York in 1830


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  • Myles Walter Keogh (1840-1876), Irish captain who fought in Italy during the 1860 Papal War and later for the Union side in the American Civil War
  • Eugene James Keogh (1907-1989), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 11th district (1963-1967)
  • Helen Catherine Anne Keogh (b. 1951), Irish Fine Gael politician
  • Richard John Keogh (b. 1986), Irish footballer
  • Andrew De Clan "Andy" Keogh (b. 1986), Irish footballer
  • Stephen Keogh (b. 1982), Irish rugby union player
  • Simon Keogh (b. 1979), Irish rugby union player
  • Shay Keogh (b. 1934), former Irish football player
  • Ollie Keogh (b. 1975), Irish footballer
  • John Keogh (1740-1817), Irish merchant and political activist

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  1. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  5. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  6. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  9. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
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This page was last modified on 27 February 2014 at 09:29.

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