Keary History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Irish name Keary originally appeared in Gaelic as O Ciardha. However, "Carey" and its spelling variations have also been used as the Anglicized forms of six other Irish patronymics: O Ceinin, O Ciarain, Mac Giolla Ceire, O Carra, Mac Giolla Chathair, and the nearly-extinct MacFhiachra.

Early Origins of the Keary family

The surname Keary was first found in the county of Kilkenny (Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland in the province of Leinster. Today Cary is a barony in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Important Dates for the Keary family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keary research. Another 174 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1300, 1620, 1784, 1761 and 1834 are included under the topic Early Keary History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keary Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Keary 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. Carrie, Carry, Carre, Carie, Carrey, MacCarry, MacHarry, Mac Harris, O'Carey, Cary, M'Carrie, Kearey, Kearrie, Keerie, Keery, Keerey, M'Harrie, M'Harry, M'Hary, M'Harie and many more.

Early Notables of the Keary family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Patrick Carrie, notable Irish patriot. Also, three famous brothers of the Carey name, John Carey, the inventor of the distress rocket for ships, went to London and taught school, becoming a most prolific writer, writing over 50 classics, including short stories and poems. The next brother, William, a painter and engraver, stayed in Dublin...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keary Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keary 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 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 Keary family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Keary Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patt Keary, aged 40, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [1]
  • Thomas Keary, who landed in Mississippi in 1852 [1]
  • Mary Keary, aged 15, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]

Keary migration to Australia

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

Keary Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Keary, aged 15, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin" [2]
  • Mary Keary, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849 [2]
  • Bridget Keary, aged 20, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa" [3]
  • Maria Keary, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"
  • Brdget Keary, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"

Keary 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:

Keary Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Isaac Keary, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863
  • Mary Keary, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863

Contemporary Notables of the name Keary (post 1700)

  • Louis A. Keary, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 12th District, 1936, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1950; Candidate for Circuit Judge in Michigan 12th Circuit, 1940 (primary), 1948 [4]
  • Andrew Keary (b. 1987), Irish hurler, Galway Minor Hurling Captain in 2005, All- Ireland Minor Hurling Final winning captain in 2005
  • Albert Keary (b. 1889), English professional footballer who played from 1911 to 1913
  • Patrick Keary (b. 1993), English footballer
  • Charles Francis Keary (1848-1917), English scholar and historian
  • Patrick Joseph "Pat" Keary (1901-1974), Australian rules footballer
  • Anna Maria "Annie" Keary (1825-1879), English novelist, poet and children's writer
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Henry D'Urban Keary KCB, KCIE, DSO (b. 1857), British Indian Army officer
  • Luke Keary (b. 1992), Australian professional rugby league player

Historic Events for the Keary family

HMS Royal Oak
  • Arthur Keary (1913-1939), British Supply Assistant with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [5]

You May Also Like


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELGIN 1849. Retrieved from
  3. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Europa 1855. Retrieved
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from
  5. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from
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