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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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

As a native Irish name, McKee is derived from the Gaelic "Mag Aodha," or "son of Hugh," while others of the name in Ireland, are ultimately of Scottish origin.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Magee, Macgee, Mcgee, McGahee, McGhee and others.

First found in along the border of counties Donegal and Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they are thought to be descended from the Colla Uais. The McKee surname has also been long associated with County Antrim, because of the peninsula at Lough Larne, known as the Island Magee which was part of their early Ulster territories. Before the Norman invasion in the 12th century, a Magee was chief of a Sept in county Westmeath. Today, the name is most common in Ulster; however, most of these bearers are of Scottish descent.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKee research. Another 292 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1717, 1755, 1766, 1821, 1825, 1830, 1831, 1846, 1868, 1880, and 1891 are included under the topic Early McKee History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 32 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKee Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert McKee, who arrived in New England in 1739
  • Hugh McKee, who landed in America in 1795

McKee Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Nancy McKee, aged 16, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
  • Pat McKee, aged 14, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
  • Agnes McKee, who landed in America in 1804
  • Andrew McKee, who landed in South Carolina in 1807
  • Gabriel McKee, who landed in America in 1811


  • Rear Admiral Andrew I. McKee (1896-1976), American submarine pioneer
  • Christopher Fulton McKee (b. 1942), American astrophysicist
  • Tywain "Ty" McKee (b. 1986), American professional basketball player
  • Hugh Wilson McKee (1844-1871), American naval officer, eponym of the USS McKee (DD-575), a Fletcher-class destroyer and the USS McKee (DD–87), a Wickes class destroyer
  • Maria Luisa McKee (b. 1964), American singer and songwriter
  • Lafayette S. "Lafe" McKee (1872-1959), American actor who appeared in over 400 films
  • Raymond McKee (1892-1984), American actor from Iowa who appeared in 173 films
  • Colonel Alexander McKee (1735-1799), Irish-born, American agent for the British Indian Department during the French and Indian War, and the American Revolutionary War, eponym of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
  • Brigadier-General John Lloyd McKee (1895-1963), American Assistant Commanding General 87th Division (1942-1945)
  • General William Fulton McKee (1906-1987), American Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force (1962-1964)



  • Ancestors of Our Children by Wells Laflin Field.


  1. 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.
  2. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. 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.
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 3 July 2014 at 17:07.

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