Keane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Keane originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Cathain" or "Mac Cathain."

Early Origins of the Keane family

The surname Keane was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster. At one time, the areas was named O'Cahan Country.

Early History of the Keane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keane research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1196, 1617, 1641, 1644 and 1819 are included under the topic Early Keane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keane Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Keane were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Keane, Kane, Kayne, Keaney, Keny, Keyne, O'Kane, O'Keane, O'Cahan, Cahan, Kean, O'Cain, McCloskey, McCluskey, McClaskey and many more.

Early Notables of the Keane family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Ruaidri Dall Ó Catháin ( fl. late 16th/early 17th century), an Irish harper and composer; and Echlin O'Kane, one of the most famous of all Irish Harpists. Manus O'Cahan's Regiment of Foot was a body of soldiers, many of who had fought in Europe in the early years of the Thirty Years War. McColla, and a cousin by marriage, Manus O'Cahan, were thrown together...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Keane migration to the United States +

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 due 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 States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Keane family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Keane Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Martin, Michael, Patrick, and William Keane all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870

Canada Keane migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Keane Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Ann Keane, aged 8 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Marinus" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In October 1847 [1]
  • Mrs. Bridget Keane, aged 40 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Sarah" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle In August 1847 [1]
  • Mrs. Bridget Keane, aged 40 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Merinos" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In August 1847 [1]
  • Mr. Christopher Keane, aged 4 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Marinus" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In September 1847 [1]
  • Mr. Edward Keane, aged 1 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Blonde" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle In July 1847 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Keane migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Keane Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Andrew Keane, (b. 1762), aged 39, Irish convict who was convicted in Kilkenny, Ireland for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Bernard Keane, a gardener, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Honora Keane, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Planter" in 1839 [3]
  • Martin Keane, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [4]
  • William Keane, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Keane migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Keane Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Ellen Keane, aged 26, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863
  • Margaret Keane, aged 17, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • Mr. Joseph John Keane, (b. 1854), aged 21, Cornish farm labourer departing on 30th June 1875 aboard the ship "Merope" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd September 1875 [5]
  • Mr. Joseph John Keane, (b. 1854), aged 21, Cornish farm labourer departing on 30th June 1875 aboard the ship "Merope" going to Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand arriving in port on 22nd September 1875 [6]
  • Mary Keane, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Keane (post 1700) +

  • Anthony Keane (1928-2016), American fencer who competed in the individual and team sabre events at the 1968 Summer Olympics
  • Peter Keane, American blues/folk musician
  • Margaret Keane (b. 1927), American illustrator and painter
  • Jim Keane, American politician, Democratic Party member of the Montana Senate
  • James Patrick "Jim" Keane (1924-2011), professional American NFL football end
  • James John Keane (1857-1929), American archbishop of the Catholic Church
  • Glen Keane (b. 1954), American Annie Award winning animator, best known for his character animation at Walt Disney Studios for feature films including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Tangled
  • Bob Keane (1922-2009), American musician, producer and owner of the record label Del-Fi Records, producer and manager of Ritchie Valens
  • William "Bill" Aloysius Keane (1922-2011), American cartoonist of The Family Circus
  • Edward Keane (1884-1959), American actor of the '30s and '40s
  • ... (Another 36 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Walter John Keane (1909-1941), Australian Chief Ordnance Artificer from Preston, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [7]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Andrew "Andy" Keane (d. 1912), aged 23, Irish Third Class passenger from Athenry, Galway who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [8]
  • Mr. Daniel Keane (d. 1912), aged 35, Irish Second Class passenger from Limerick, Ireland who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [8]
  • Miss Nora Agnes Keane, aged 46, Irish Second Class passenger from Castleconnell, Limerick who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10 [8]


The Keane Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Felis demulcta mitis
Motto Translation: A stroked cat is gentle.


Suggested Readings for the name Keane +

  • 3065 Patrick Doyle and Timothy Keane by Clarke L. Neal, Southern Garners (also Keane) by Sam Garner.

  1. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 36)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PLANTER 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Planter.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Hooghly.htm
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  7. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  8. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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