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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Irish McMeekin family come from? What is the Irish McMeekin family crest and coat of arms? When did the McMeekin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McMeekin family history?

The surname McMeekin originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Miadhachain," which is derived from the word miadhach, meaning honorable.

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The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name McMeekin were encountered in the archives: Meighan, Meehan, Meegin, Meeghen, Meegan, Meakin, Meakins, Mekins, Mehan, Mehen, Mehigan, Mehegan, O'Meighan, O'Meehan and many more.

First found in County Leitrim (Irish: Liatroim) anciently the western half of the kingdom of Breifne, located in Northeastern Ireland, in Leinster province, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMeekin research. Another 204 words(15 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early McMeekin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 24 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McMeekin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the McMeekin family came to North America quite early:

McMeekin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander McMeekin, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1803
  • Alexr McMeekin, aged 21, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803
  • David McMeekin, who arrived in New York in 1847

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  • Brian McMeekin, professional (NHL) hockey player
  • Ted McMeekin (b. 1948), Canadian politician, Minister of Community and Social Services (2013)
  • Richard McMeekin (b. 1937), Canadian politician, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Terence Douglas Herbert McMeekin KCB CBE (1918-1984), former British Army officer, General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division (19681970)
  • Thomas Doodputlee McMeekin (1866-1946), British Olympic gold medalist sailor at the 1908 Summer Olympics


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  1. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The McMeekin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McMeekin 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 22 February 2013 at 15:02.

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