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

Where did the Irish Keogh family come from? What is the Irish Keogh family crest and coat of arms? 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."


Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Keogh are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include 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.


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.


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


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Keogh family relocated to North American shores quite early:

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


  • 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. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  4. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Keogh Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keogh Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 August 2014 at 16:17.

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