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

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

The many centuries old Dalriadan-Scottish name Mckean comes from the given name Ian or John. John is the most common personal name in the Highlands. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Iain.

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Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Mckean has been spelled MacIan, MacAne, MacKane, MacKean, MacKain and others.

First found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mckean research. Another 301 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1292, 1340, 1618, 1717, 1777, 1808, and 1875 are included under the topic Early Mckean History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 44 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mckean Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Mckean family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 178 words(13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Mckean family emigrate to North America:

Mckean Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Elizabeth McKean, who landed in New England in 1718
  • John McKean, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763
  • James McKean, who arrived in America in 1767
  • David McKean, who arrived in New York in 1786

Mckean Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William McKean, who landed in South Carolina in 1810
  • Andrew McKean, who landed in America in 1811
  • Alexander McKean, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Thomas McKean, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1820
  • Neal McKean, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838


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  • Thomas McKean (1734-1817), American signer of Declaration of Independence
  • James B. McKean (1821-1879), New York politician and Union Army general
  • Samuel McKean, American merchant and politician from Burlington, Pennsylvania
  • Michael Jones McKean (b. 1976), American artist
  • David Tench McKean (b. 1963), English illustrator and photographer
  • Allan McKean, Australian rugby league player
  • Lieutenant George Burdon McKean (1888-1926), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross during the First World War
  • John McKean (1941-1996), Australian ornithologist


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  1. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  4. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 7 December 2013 at 08:41.

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