Kee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Kee lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Kee comes from the personal name Aodh, a cognate of Hugh. The Gaelic form of the name is usually Mac Aoidh and in Inverness, the Gaelic form of the name Kee is Mac Ai.

"Nothing certain is known of the origin of the northern Mackays beyond the fact that they were early connected with Moray, and may have been a part of the ancient Clann Morgunn. The Inverness-shire Mackays are usually called in Gaelic Mac Ai, that is, MacDhai, or Davidson; they formed a branch of Clan Chattan." [1]

Early Origins of the Kee family

The surname Kee was first found in Sutherland (Gaelic: Cataibh), a former county in northern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Highland, where early records show that Gilcrest M'Ay, forefather of the MacKay family of Ugadale, made a payment to the constable of Tarbert in 1326. It is claimed that the Clan is descended from the royal house of MacEth.

Early History of the Kee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kee research. Another 299 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1408, 1411, 1429, 1329, 1506, 1575, 1873, 1940, 1640, 1692, 1689, 1726, 1692 and are included under the topic Early Kee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kee Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Kee has been spelled MacKay, MacCay, MacQuey, MacQuoid, MacKaw, MacKy, MacKye, MacCoy, McCoy and many more.

Early Notables of the Kee family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Hugh Mackay (c. 1640-1692), Scottish general, Major-General Commanding in Chief in Scotland in 1689, killed at the Battle of Steinkeerke; and...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Kee family to Ireland

Some of the Kee family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kee migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Kee:

Kee Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Silvester Kee, who landed in Maryland in 1671 [2]
Kee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Kee, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [2]
  • Jane Kee, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [2]
  • Margaret Kee, who arrived in New Jersey in 1811 [2]
  • Patrick Kee, who arrived in New Jersey in 1811 [2]
  • Robert Kee, who arrived in New Jersey in 1811 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Kee migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kee Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Martha Kee, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838
  • John Kee, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838
  • Thomas Kee, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838

Contemporary Notables of the name Kee (post 1700) +

  • Harry Weldon Kee (1914-1955), American poet, painter, literary critic, novelist, jazz pianist, and short story writer
  • John P. Kee (b. 1962), American gospel singer and pastor
  • James Kee (1917-1989), American Democratic politician
  • Maude Elizabeth Kee (1895-1975), American Democratic politician
  • Jenny Kee (b. 1947), Australian fashion designer
  • Paul Kee (b. 1969), former Northern Irish footballer
  • Robert Kee (b. 1919), British broadcaster, journalist and writer
  • Billy Rodney Kee (b. 1990), English footballer

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Jeff Scott Kee (b. 1963), American Specialist 4th Class from Pensacola, Florida, USA who died in the crash [3]


The Kee 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: Manu forti
Motto Translation: With a strong hand.


Suggested Readings for the name Kee +

  • 4012 The 1868-73 Journals of Emma Celinda Howe by Ralph M. Kee.

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550


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